‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house,
The “For Sales” signs and brochures were nestled in the back of my shed,
The wintertime moon was bright in its glow,
The text message was lively and brief,
No contingencies, no home inspection, not even an appraiser,
I leaped in my car and drove to the meeting,
The documents were many, measuring from my head to my foot,
Now Paragon, now LionDesk, giddy-up HomeSnap, Matrix and CRMLS,
The buyers sprung to the front door, now they were living the dream,
Congratulations to a group of PSAR members who recently completed the Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) Institute.
The CIPS Institute, from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), provides REALTORS® with knowledge, tools and a worldwide network helping in serving international clients.
The recent CIPS graduates include:
Maria Elena Sexsion
Mary Beth Viruete
These new CIPS graduates gained the knowledge needed to present investment information to international clients in their currency and area. They are now eligible to apply for NAR's CIPS Designation. Once NAR accepts their applications, NAR will recognize them as expert resources in the international real estate market. They will have access to the information, research, network and tools to globalize their business. They now understand the financial, legal and cultural differences for real estate transactions in various countries.
CIPS graduates receive a variety of benefits, including a listing in the “Find a CIPS” online directory, customizable print postcards, customizable web banner ads and customizable press release. Technology tools include a CIPS app that provides translation, area and currency conversion, time zone calculation and international holidays, along with a CIPS resource browser toolbar. They also will receive a “Global Perspectives” print newsletter, access to webinars and networking opportunities, including access to CIPS member-only online communities and invitations to exclusive events at NAR meetings.
The CIPS class was an intensive program of study focusing on critical aspects of trans-national transactions, including currency and exchange rate issues, cross-cultural relationships, regional market conditions, investment performance, tax issues and more. Four-hour classes were held at various times June 15-19 and June 23-26.
The first class included an overview of the international real estate business environment, including capital flow, currencies, government regulations and culture. Topics included international brokerage, networking, marketing and selling.
Other classes featured the tools needed to present investment information to international clients. Students learned how to measure investment performance, prepare financial projections and understand the effects of taxes and exchange rates on investment.
Classes focused on real estate in Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Americas. Topics included the European Union and its impact on international real estate, as well as selling practices. Another class emphasized the cultural influences and economic trends in Japan and Asia. Another class included practical information on working with clients from the Caribbean and North, Central and South America, along with historical and cultural influences.
The instructor was Furhad Waquad, a NAR director since 2004. Furhad also is a past president of the Michigan Association of REALTORS®, a past NAR Regional Vice President and leader in NAR international leadership positions, including as a member of the NAR International Faculty. He has been recognized as Michigan’s REALTOR® of the Year and Michigan’s REALTOR® Active in Politics.
Furhad is actively involved in REALTOR® organizations across the country. He is serving as NAR Federal Political Coordinator to U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and 2019-2020 NAR REALTOR Party Trustee for Campaign Services. He previously served as the 2013 Chairman of the National Association of REALTORS’® Global Business Alliances Committee and the 2009 NAR President’s Liaison to International Operations.
Several PSAR members who are now CIPS graduates are actively involved with the PSAR Global Real Estate Council (GREC). Many PSAR members who are interested in cross-border opportunities and who want to network with other international real estate practitioners are involved with GREC.
PSAR’s GREC is dedicated to assist the needs of PSAR members who desire to expand their international outreach and help international capital investment clients make informed transactions with effective counsel across multiple jurisdictions. The vision of the Council is to provide and facilitate educational opportunities to enable PSAR members to expand their practice and organize global-themed events.
GREC can provide you with a platform to connect with individuals internationally. GREC offers PSAR members the opportunity to learn and expand their niche market in real estate internationally.
Formed in 2013, PSAR’s GREC has hosted several educational events in recent years designed to assist PSAR members in helping international capital investment clients to make informed transactions with effective counsel across multiple jurisdictions. The training sessions have focused on cultural customs and diversity, as well as panel discussions and forums with international partners.
The full impact of the coronavirus pandemic was felt in the local and statewide housing market in May, as revealed by the most recent monthly home sales and prices report from the California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.).
California home sales in May fell to their lowest level since the 2008 Great Recession with closed escrow sales of existing, single-family detached homes totaling a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 238,740 units, according to information collected by C.A.R. from more than 90 local REALTOR® associations and MLSs statewide.
Statewide, May 2020 home sales were down 13.9 percent from the 277,440 units sold in April, and down 41.4 percent from a year ago, when 407,330 homes were sold in May 2019. Statewide year-to-date home sales are down 12.9 percent, the largest drop since November 2007.
In San Diego county, homes sales in May 2020 were down 14.6 percent, compared to April 2020, and 42.3 percent, compared to May 2019.
San Diego county’s year-over-year decrease of 42.3 percent in home sales in May compares to these Southern California counties: 53.3 percent in Orange, 52.0 percent in Ventura, 47.5 percent in Los Angeles, 43.0 percent in Riverside and 37.6 percent in San Bernardino .
The statewide median home price in May 2020 fell below last year’s price for the first time since February 2012 and breaking the state’s 98-month, year-over-year price-gain streak. The May 2020 statewide median price of $588,070 for existing single-family homes was down 3.0 percent from April 2020’s $606,410 figure and down 3.7 percent from May 2019, when the median price was a revised $610,940.
In San Diego, the median price for a single-family home in San Diego County in May 2020 was $655,000, down 2.4 percent from $671,000 in April 2020, with only a 0.8 percent difference from the $650,000 figure for May 2019.
May 2020 County Sales and Price Activity
(Regional and condo sales data not seasonally adjusted)
“The sharp sales drop in May was the steepest we’ve seen in some time, but there are encouraging signs that show the market is recovering and should continue to improve over the next few months,” said 2020 C.A.R. President Jeanne Radsick, a second-generation REALTOR® from Bakersfield, Calif. “With pending home sales up a stunning 67 percent in May, buyer demand is on the upswing amid record-low rates that are making monthly mortgage payments $300 less than a year ago.”
“As we predicted, May home sales took the full impact of the coronavirus pandemic as much of the state remained in lockdown during the past few months and caused three straight months of double-digit sales declines, which we haven’t experienced since the Association began reporting monthly home sales in 1979,” said C.A.R. Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. “While we expect sales activity to remain below pre-COVID-19 levels, closed sales will improve markedly as the phased reopening of the economy continues and consumers feel more confident returning to the market.”
Reflecting the dramatic change in market conditions, a monthly Google poll conducted by C.A.R. in early June found 40 percent of consumers said it is a good time to sell, up from 29 percent a month ago, but down from 51 percent a year ago. The market uncertainty has not curbed the optimism for homebuying as much; as 32 percent of the consumers who responded to the poll believed that now is a good time to buy a home, sharply higher than last year, when 26 percent said it was a good time to buy.
Other key points from the May 2020 resale housing report included:
• At the regional level, all major regions dipped in sales by more than 35 percent from last year, with the Bay Area and Central Coast dropping the most at -51.1 percent each, followed by Southern California (-45.6 percent), and the Central Valley (-36.6 percent).
• Fifty of the 51 counties tracked by C.A.R. experienced a year-over-year loss in sales, with Monterey declining the most from last year at -63.0 percent, followed by Mendocino (-59.7 percent), and San Benito (-59.2 percent). Counties that experienced a sales decline compared to last year averaged a loss of 42.2 percent. Del Norte was the only county with an increase over last year.
• Median prices continued to dip in May versus last year in the Central Coast and the Bay Area but inched up slightly in the Central Valley region. The median home price was virtually unchanged in Southern California.
• Thirty-one of the 51 counties tracked by C.A.R. reported a year-over-year price gain in May, with Glenn County leading the way at 31.9 percent. Of the 19 counties that experienced a price drop over last May, Plumas showed the biggest decline at 23.3 percent.
• The Unsold inventory Index jumped to 4.3 months in May, up from 3.4 months in April and 3.2 months in May 2019. The index calculates the number of months needed sell the supply of homes on the market at the current rate of sales.
• Total active listings continued to decline on an annual basis for the 11th consecutive month; the 34 percent year-over-year decrease in listings was the biggest drop since March 2013.
• All major regions recorded a decrease in housing supply of more than 25 percent, with both the Southern California and the Central Valley regions falling by more than 33 percent. All counties in Southern California, except Ventura, declined 36 percent or more from last year, with San Diego dropping the most at 42.7 percent.
• The median number of days needed sell a California single-family home increased to 17 days in May 2020 compared to 13 days in April 2020 but was lower than the 18 days in May 2019. to the figure in March 2020 was 15 days, with a 23 day figure in February 2020.
• In San Diego County, the median number of days an existing, single-family home remained unsold was 11 days in May 2020, compared to eight days in April 2020, 10 days in March 2020, 12 days in February 2020, 23 days in January 2020 and 14 days in May 2019.
May 2020 County Unsold Inventory and Days on Market
(Regional and condo sales data not seasonally adjusted)
• The 30-year, fixed-mortgage interest rate averaged 3.23 percent in May, down from 4.07 percent in May 2019, according to Freddie Mac. The five-year, adjustable mortgage interest rate averaged 3.16 percent, compared to 3.65 percent in May 2019.
In other recent real estate and economic news, according to news reports:
• Nationwide sales of new single-family homes in May continued to rebound from a COVID-19-influenced low in April, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sales of new single-family homes in May were up 12.7 percent in a year-over-year comparison.
• There were fewer bidding wars for homes in May in San Diego. According to Redfin, 49.1 percent of homes for sale drew multiple offers, a decrease from April’s 53.4 percent figure. Nationwide, Redfin found that 49.4 percent of U.S. home offers in May faced competition, compared to 43.9 percent of offers in April. Of the 24 metros in the Redfin analysis, 11 saw a majority of Redfin offers facing competition in May. That's up from eight metros in April.
• CoreLogic said home sales in May had their biggest drop in nearly 30 years because COVID-19 held the market to a crawl. The home sales total of 2,327 in May was 40.7 percent down from the same month last year. It was the biggest drop in home sales since January 1991, when sales were down by 41.5 percent. Despite fewer sales, average home prices were largely unchanged, said CoreLogic.
• Small business owners turned more optimistic in May about an economic rebound and are expecting the coronavirus-induced recession will be short lived. The National Federation of Independent Business said its optimism index rose 3.5 percent in May to 94.4, an increase that was twice the Wall Street forecast.
• San Diego’s economy in dealing with COVID-19 will fare better than that of other parts of California because of a higher number of essential workers. Roughly 67 percent of workers in San Diego County are considered essential and less likely to have suffered furloughs, according to Beacon Economics. That’s a higher percentage than Silicon Valley, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
• Who says you can't go home again? According to Zillow, about 2.7 million adults moved back home in March and April. Over 32 million adults were living with a parent or grandparent as of April 2020, up 9.7 percent from the same time the year before and is the highest number on record.
• The moving industry could potentially use up to $2.5 billion in revenue because of the coronavirus, according to HireAHelper.com, a moving website. During the 2008 recession, the moving industry lost about 16.5 percent of its revenue. This time around, revenues could decline between 12.2 and 19.9 percent.
We have reached the time of year when PSAR members need to stand up and be counted! Voting for 2021 PSAR board members takes place this week and your voice counts in deciding who will lead our association next year. Electronic ballots were emailed yesterday morning, June 19. Voting will end at 5 p.m., this Friday, June 26. Results will be announced in July. - slate of nominees can be found - here -
On the ballot are seats for President-elect, Secretary-Treasurer, as well as two-year term (2021-2022) positions for five director board seats and an affiliate director.
Max Zaker and Sam Calvano are running for President-elect and Secretary-Treasurer, respectively.
“As your President-elect, it will be my goal working with PSAR president, board of directors and staff to offer our members innovative technologies and impactful resources to help grow their business,” Zaker said in his candidate statement.
“With your vote for me to be Secretary-Treasurer in 2021, I will help our Association continue to be a dynamic leader in our industry,” said Calvano in his candidate statement.
Seven REALTOR® members are running for the five open director board seats. The seven include Mike Anderson, Merrie Espina, David Fletes, Sean Hillier, Rafael Perez, Amy Ruiz and Amber Tannehill. The following quotes are from their candidate statements:
• “I’d like to return to PSAR’s board because I believe I have a lot to offer with my experience and dedication to PSAR,” said Anderson. “I’d like to continue as a key component of the positive changes and growth we’re seeing, so I ask that you vote for me as a director.”
• “Community volunteer activities for PSAR include Red Shoe Day, Zombie Run, Realtor Games and Real Estate Global Council,” said Espina. “She is a team player acknowledged as a top company producer.”
• “A San Diego native, David has been a REALTOR® and PSAR member for over 12 years,” said Fletes. “He is currently part of the Grievance Committee. David takes pride in giving back to the community by joining the San Diego Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and being an active member of the Wounded Warrior program.”
• “As a long-time East County resident and current PSAR board member, I’d be honored to serve a second term,” said Hillier. “I have a long record of leadership. I’m running for re-election to keep PSAR’s focus on you, the members.”
• “Rafael is committed to making sure PSAR is the best choice in San Diego County when it comes to real estate associations and with your vote, will work to make sure it stays that way,” said Perez.
• “Since 2006, Amy Ruiz has been a full-time REALTOR® and absolutely loves it,” said Ruiz. “If elected, she will assist the board wherever needed, while focusing on membership growth and encouraging current membership to make sure of all the amazing benefits PSAR has to offer.”
• “Amber is excited about the opportunity to serve on the PSAR board of directors to advocate for education and training both online and in the classroom to assist both new and long-term real estate professionals in growing their business,” said Tannehill. “As a PSAR board of director, I hope to find ways to improve on the communication from the local, state and national level so that all agents receive the same information in a timely manner.”
Three affiliate members are competing for the Affiliate Director seat. They include Andrea Martino, Juliette Montoya-Cesena and Angie West. The following quotes are from their candidate statements:
• “I feel honored and grateful to have been nominated for the Affiliate Director role,” said Martino. “I firmly believe our current and future membership is ready and expecting of new and out-of-the-box ways to increase both Association-Affiliate collaboration and to strengthen REALTOR®-Affiliate relationships. I am excited at the prospect of leading the charge to accomplish this.”
• “My name is Juliette Montoya-Cesena and I thank you for your consideration as a nominee for Affiliate Director for PSAR,” said Montoya-Cesena. “If elected, it will be my goal to provide unity with our REALTOR® and affiliate members in finding ways to promote their businesses through joint efforts. Working side by side with fellow board members to continue with the trajectory of growth for our valued PSAR members, future members and our community.”
• “Angie West is a proud member of the First American Title San Diego sales team,” said West. “She chaired the PSAR Charity Committee for two years and was honored with the Affiliate of the Year award for 2018.”
Last year, Ditas Yamane was elected to serve as 2021 board president, succeeding Robert Cromer this year’s president.
We as realtors and individuals are hard at it every day growing our businesses and living our lives.
But we also have an obligation to our PSAR association and our fellow members to lend our judgement to deciding who will lead us on the board and in the executive positions. Policies, programs, events and investments are all part of what the association manages logistically. Those members are also there to provide all of us with insight direction and inspiration.
They, and what they do and say, have direct impact on our businesses and on us personally. Taking a few minutes of time to cast your vote seems little enough to reap the returns it creates.
Voting this week means you looked up from the day-to-day for a minute to think about a bigger picture and take a step to make it better.
We look forward to counting your ballot!
Fair housing is more than a list of dos and don’ts, rights and penalties and mandatory continuing education. As stewards of the right to own, use and transfer private property, fair housing protects our livelihood and business as REALTORS® and depends on a free, open market that embraces equal opportunity.
Fair housing is not an option, it is the law. The Federal Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination based on race, religion, sex, national origin, disability, and familial status (protected classes). Californians are further protected from discrimination on the basis of age, marital status, genetic information, sexual orientation, sexual identification, AIDS/HIV, medical condition, political activities and affiliation, military or veteran status, and/or being domestic violence survivors.
What are some common unlawful acts of discrimination? They include:
- Refusing to sell a property because of a person’s protected class.
- Restricting loans or targeting higher cost loans to people based on their protected class or the neighborhood where the home is located.
- Falsely denying that housing is available for inspection, sale, or rental.
- Failing to provide reasonable accommodations to a person with a disability.
Fair housing exists in a community when individuals of similar income have the same range of housing choices regardless of race or color, ancestry or national origin, religion, gender, disability, marital or familial status, sexual orientation, or source of income.
The Fair Housing Acts covers most housing. In very limited circumstances, the Act exempts owner-occupied buildings with no more than four units, single-family houses sold or rented by the owner without the use of an agent, and housing operated by religious organizations and private clubs that limit occupancy to members.
REALTORS® recognize the significance of the Fair Housing Act and reconfirm their commitment to upholding fair housing law as well as their commitment to offering equal professional service to all in their search for real property.
The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has a “Fair Housing Action Plan” that uses the abbreviation “ACT,” which stands for (A)ccountability, (C)ulture Change and (T)raining. It ensures that America’s 1.4 million REALTORS® are doing everything possible to protect housing rights in America. NAR recommends printing a copy of the “REALTOR® Fair Housing Declaration” and posting it in your office. It can be found here,www.nar.realtor/fair-housing/fair-housing-program/fair-housing-declaration.
The Fair Housing Declaration says:
I agree to:
- Provide equal professional service without regard to the race, color, religion, gender (sex), disability (handicap), familial status, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity of any prospective client, customer, or of the residents of any community.
- Keep informed about fair housing law and practices, improving my clients’ and customers’ opportunities and my business.
- Develop advertising that indicates that everyone is welcome and no one is excluded;, expanding my client’s and customer’s opportunities to see, buy, or lease property.
- Inform my clients and customers about their rights and responsibilities under the fair housing laws by providing brochures and other information.
- Document my efforts to provide professional service, which will assist me in becoming a more responsive and successful REALTOR®.
- Refuse to tolerate non-compliance.
- Learn about those who are different from me, and celebrate those differences.
- Take a positive approach to fair housing practices and aspire to follow the spirit as well as the letter of the law.
- Develop and implement fair housing practices for my firm to carry out the spirit of this declaration.
Where and when is Fair Housing discrimination occurring? According to CSA San Diego County, recent examples include:
- A nationwide mortgage lender had systematically charged higher interest rates to Hispanic and African-American borrowers.
- In Virginia Beach, landlords refused to rent to families with three or more children.
- In Connecticut a landlord refused to grant a tenant reasonable accommodation for her assistance dog which helped her with her cerebral palsy, seizure disorder, and depression.
In addition, a three-year investigation by Newsday, a New York newspaper, uncovered widespread evidence of unequal treatment by real estate agents on Long Island, New York. In one of the most concentrated investigations of discrimination by real estate agents in the half century since enactment of America’s landmark fair housing law, Newsday found evidence of widespread separate and unequal treatment of minority potential homebuyers and minority communities on Long Island.
The three-year probe strongly indicates that house hunting in one of the nation’s most segregated suburbs poses substantial risks of discrimination, with black buyers chancing disadvantages almost half the time they enlist brokers. The investigation, published Nov. 17, 2019, involved 25 undercover testers and 93 real estate agents who provided a total of 5,763 listings, as well as 240 hours of secretly-recorded meetings. Unequal treatment was directed toward Asians (19 percent), Hispanics (39 percent), Blacks (49 percent)
Additionally, the investigation reveals that Long Island’s dominant residential brokering firms help solidify racial separations. They frequently directed white customers toward areas with the highest white representations and minority buyers to more integrated neighborhoods. They also avoided business in communities with overwhelmingly minority populations. Fair housing laws bar agents from directing whites to one community and equally qualified blacks, Hispanics or Asians to other places, a practice known as steering.
The newspaper said, “Fair housing standards generally bar agents from talking about the backgrounds of people who live in neighborhoods as a form of verbal racial or ethnic steering. The standards also require agents to provide equal guidance to customers about areas in which they may want to live.
“Agents and brokers bear the responsibility for applying fair housing standards as they act as licensed gatekeepers to housing choices. Industry representatives have contended that proper training is the best way to ensure agents uphold fair housing laws, arguing against more aggressive enforcement through fines, license suspensions or revocations.
“Ultimately, fair housing violations are determined by the courts or enforcement agencies. Authorities may choose to file charges based on egregious conduct in a single case. More generally, they bring legal action after subjecting an agent to several paired tests to establish a pattern and to reduce the likelihood that an agent’s choices were either a fluke or soundly guided by the market at the time.”
The Urban Institute, a nonprofit group, conducted a nationwide study sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2010. That study involved more than 8,000 tests found real estate agents engaged less frequently than in the past in more explicit forms of discrimination, such as not showing available houses to minority buyers. However, the study also showed that agents placed minority buyers in more integrated neighborhoods at a higher rate than white buyers.
“The issue of discrimination is very subtle,” said Claudia Aranda, a director of field operations for the Urban Institute. “In the absence of treatment that’s more overt, in the absence of particular discriminatory comments, individual home seekers will never have potentially any reason to suspect discrimination.”
For more details about the Newsday study, visit https://projects.newsday.com/long-island/real-estate-agents-investigation.
In order to prevent the appearance of discrimination, CSA San Diego County recommends the following:
- Train all your staff consistently on local, state and federal regulations.
- Standardize your engagement practices.
- Always post the Fair Housing logo prominently on your property.
- Distribute materials and information equally to all interested parties.
- Standardize the process of maintaining wait or interest lists.
- Brief staff daily as to the availability of units.
- Don’t show different units to different prospective applicants.
- Don’t show unclean units to prospective applicants.
PSAR will present a webinar on “Fair Housing Laws and Regulations” from 10 to 11 a.m., Wednesday, July 1. Presenter will be Monica Lopez of CSA San Diego County, a nonprofit that advocates for fair housing and in meditating tenant-landlord issues. CSA services include fair housing counseling, dispute mediation, educational fair housing seminars and rental practice discrimination audits. CSA also is involved with immigrant rights, hate-crime prevention, human trafficking and voter education. The webinar will be presented over the Zoom online meeting platform. Registration information is available at www.psar.org. Zoom membership is not required to participate in the webinar.
Make a Great First Impression with your CMA
First impressions are everything. When your prospective clients give you the opportunity to wow them with how hard you will work to sell their home – don’t let the opportunity pass you by! It’s your chance to make it happen and win the listing. Having the very best in real estate comparative market analysis (CMA) software will ensure that you have everything your client needs all in one simple, effective, and beautiful presentation.
How Can You Make a Good Impression with a Cloud CMA Presentation?
Cloud CMA presentations make it easy for you to look awesome. In just minutes, you can have a client-ready report in hand and win that listing on the spot! So, how can you expect to impress your clients with a Cloud CMA presentation?
One of the first questions your client may have is, “What is a CMA?” followed by questions pertaining to the data and what it’s supposed to convey. Each CMA created with our software begins with an explanation of the contents and the purpose of the information. This will help solidify your position as an authority on local real estate trends and prices, as well as build a trusted and secure relationship with the client.
In addition to this valuable introduction, you will be able to provide your clients with report pages covering the following information:
- Your photo and contact information will be displayed so each client knows that you are the real estate professional who has provided them with the very best information.
- QR code allows clients to download the entire PDF report on their smartphone or tablet.
- Explanation of short sales and foreclosures and how they affect sale prices in your client’s neighborhood.
- Information on what goes into calculating the value of a home.
- Map of the comparable listings in the client’s area.
- List of comparable properties in the client’s area with listing status and price.
- Listing information and photos for all properties in the report used for comparison.
- Property analysis for active, expired, canceled and sold listings.
- The suggested listing price for the client’s listing.
- Commission breakdown.
- Additional information on why your client needs a real estate agent, strategic pricing and timing, and why first impressions with their property are important.
Customization and Mobile Access
You can customize your report in any way you like to communicate this information to your prospective clients. Choose your colors, fonts, page layout, and even create your own custom pages.
You can also create and send reports instantly. Just send an email from your computer, tablet, or smartphone and let us do the work!
Presentations can be shared via email, Twitter or Facebook, and work on all popular mobile devices, including the iPad®.
Above all, Cloud CMA makes it easy to generate beautiful client reports by connecting directly with Paragon or Matrix. Cloud CMA pulls data directly from your MLS as well as top websites to create a winning real estate CMA with current listing information. Cloud CMA eliminates the guesswork for you, saves you time, and makes you look awesome.
PSAR Members access Cloud CMA along with many other tools from the login screen in Paragon or Matrix.
Don't belong wot PSAR or CRMLS? CloudCMA is available for $45/month.
Paragon received some new enhancements! (Due to Tech difficulties portions of this Upgrade have temporarily been delayed)
Changes include new integrations with CRS Tax, new system feature tours, and more. Read the CRMLS Knowledgebase article for a full list of updates. Here are three impact-full changes:
Display Public Records with Listings on Map
A new Premium Tax feature has been added, called Integrated Search, that gives users the ability to display both listings and public records that meet the same criteria on a single Map View.
CRS Data Property Report from Property Watch and Alerts
When the developers of Paragon introduced Property Watch, it lacked the ability to link to the CRS Data Property Report from the property panel that displays next to the Property Watch and Alerts grids. This feature has now been added.
Tours of New System Features and Enhancements
Take a mini walk-through of new Paragon features and enhancements. The tour will pop up in Paragon automatically at selected features. Page through the tour or select Remind Me Later to view on your next visit to the page.
A full list of changes is available on the CRMLS Knowledgebase. Click here to see the updates.
Perhaps the greatest impact of the Covid-19 measures is on open houses. Going forward, instead of group open-house gatherings, expect fewer open houses with smaller numbers, as well as private home showings, featuring social distancing and plenty of disinfectant, masks and hand sanitizers available at the entryway.
The adaptability and ingenuity of realtors have come into play and a better and simpler way to conduct an open house has been developed-- a virtual open house using a laptop or cell phone.
“Covid has changed the way real estate is being bought and sold all over the world. It has created a lot of uncertainty as agents are unsure of what the new norms will be,” said PSAR REALTOR® member Anthony Manzon. “No longer can we have public open houses with hundreds of people in attendance. Gone are the days of aggressively pricing properties and getting every single person into the house to create bidding wars.”
Indeed, as the pandemic has spread across the country, many home sellers, spooked by an unsure economic future and/or the thought of buyers potentially leaving virus deposits throughout their homes, have taken their properties off the market.
“The more agents hosting virtual open houses means the practice will become standard in our profession, which is good for everybody,” said Manzon. “All agents will benefit as more buyers and sellers become comfortable and confident with high-level virtual open houses. We can show the public this is how we can transact in today’s market in a safe way.”
Manzon, who prefers using a laptop for his virtual open houses, has created a Facebook page, called “Realtors of the Virtual World,” that offers training and success stories about virtual open houses and other virtual industry tools.
According to Manzon, agents who become proficient at hosting a virtual open house will attract new clients, demonstrate how to be proactive and solution-based and will keep buyers and sellers and agents safe, thus reducing the spread of the virus.
“Be sure to have some sort of lead capture, provide more information than what the MLS provides and remember that with every virtual open house agents are interviewing for their next client,” Manzon said.
Clearly, the rapid migration to digital technologies driven by the pandemic will continue during the nation’s economic recovery and beyond. REALTORS® will need to keep pace. After the lockdowns end, this time will be remembered for the rapid deployment of digital access to services across nearly every business sector.
Recently, Rich D’Ascoli, CEO of PSAR, facilitated an online discussion about virtual open houses with several REALTORS®. Here is a sampling of their comments:
• “In my opinion, virtual open houses are the wave of the future,” said Amber Tannehill. “The ability to show a client a home virtually will assist us in identifying the buyers who are serious and ready to make an offer. As we adapt to what appears to be a new normal, we will certainly have some obstacles to overcome, but I find that buyers and sellers are understanding and appreciative as we make these adjustments."
• “Open houses are still happening, but with virtual open houses, we’re just filtering the effort through a different process,” said Jason Lopez.
• “Because of the restrictions, traditional open houses may be a thing of the past. But, in some ways, virtual open houses are a better way to get the word out,” said Denisse Roldan Newell. “It’s becoming more important to become tech-savvy, and it’s not that difficult. It’s how we embrace change.”
• “If you aren't willing to adapt as the market changes, then you will quickly learn what it’s like to be irrelevant,” said Sarah Heck. “Virtual open houses and new safety protocols are now the standard of care for our industry.”
• “Virtual open houses are the wave of the future and, as REALTORS®, we need to learn it because it’s an important listing tool. Otherwise, we might lose the listing,” said Jacklyn Lamkin Dougan. “We need to be fearless and embrace change and be willing to do whatever it takes.”
• “It might take a few practice runs, but I think clients are very understanding and excited about virtual open houses as a new technology,” said Patty Nesbitt. “It’s better than watching the news. We need to bring happiness and normalcy to people’s lives.”
• “I’m excited about virtual open houses because it will be one of the great real estate game-changers that comes out of the pandemic environment,” said Elaine Boyd. “Virtual open houses are a win for all sides. The sellers love having fewer people wandering through their homes. Great for agents, too. We can do as many or as few VOHs as we like. Even if you do just one, you can post it on YouTube, then anyone can “walk” through the home any time. The 3D imaging is key for getting a true sense of walking through the home. It’s the wave of the future, just amazing. The Virtual Open House is so more than a bridge for these strange days of Covid-19. It is a new style of open house that benefits us all and it is here to stay.”
Here are some general tips on hosting a virtual live open house.
To prepare for the virtual open house, first, select a time and date as you would for any open house. Allow 30-45 minutes to tour the property and answer questions from participants.
Next, select an online meeting platform, such as Zoom, Google Meet or others. Decide on a “private” open house private with a select group or streaming it to a platform like Facebook to be promoted widely.
The following live web conferencing services are currently allowed on CRMLS Paragon: BlueJeans, bluejeans.com; Facebook Live, facebook.com; GoToMeeting, gotomeeting.com; GoToWebinar, gotowebinar.com; Google Hangouts, hangouts.google.com; Google Meet, meet.google.com; Join.me, join.me; Livestream, livestream.com; Periscope, periscope.com; Skype, skype.com; Microsoft Teams, teams.microsoft.com; Webex, webex.com; Whereby, whereby.com; YouTube Live, youtube.com; Zoho, zoho.com; Zoom, zoom.us.
Facebook is popular because it allows you to create an event from your Facebook business page. Under the “Events” tab create a new public event to share.
To drive traffic to your virtual open house, include the link in a shared event via Facebook and other social media platforms. Also email your client list and agents who will bring interested buyers.
On the event day, prepare the house as you would for a typical open house. Make sure it’s clean, presentable and properly lit.
If the home has a fast WiFi Connection and you feel confident with mobile technology, live streaming from the property is an option.
Another method is to prepare content like Matterport, video clips, and other multimedia in advance and review the content live from a home office.
Start the tour by opening your Facebook app on your smartphone, go to your business page, open-up the event you’ve previously created. Go to the “Say Something” option, click the “Live Video” option and then click “Start Live Video.” You’re on: “Hello, Facebook friends, thanks for tuning in to this live virtual open house.” The recording can then be posted on your Facebook timeline. And, don’t forget to follow-up with your viewers.
When using a smartphone, keep it in a horizontal position, not vertical, so participants see a wider view of the home as you’re touring. Put yourself on the other side of the camera and imagine how the audience is viewing the screen. Slowly move the smartphone and try not to shake it. There are gimbals available online for less than $100 that help to stabilize live video.
During the tour, think of your ideal buyer. Anticipate the questions they might ask and discuss the features they would find interesting. Some agents respond live to questions by looking at specific points of interest in a home.
The CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® offers Best Practices Guidelines to assist agents in the safe practice of real estate. Following these guidelines will enable REALTORS® to demonstrate care for the health and well-being of clients, colleagues and the greater public welfare in reducing the risk of exposure to, and spread of, COVID-19, while providing the essential services of residential and commercial real estate recognized by the Department of Homeland Security as being necessary for the maintenance of America’s Critical Infrastructure.
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