Help Keep Your Clients’ Data Safe Online

Losing sensitive client data — or worse, having it hacked — could be the beginning of a horrifying rabbit hole tumble that could take your business and career down with it. Just about anyone is vulnerable to a hack attack or a security breach, but there are ways to reduce the risk. Here are a few steps you can take to protect your clients’ data and to keep it secure and private: Use protection Build firewalls and purchase antivirus software. The more protection you add to your business servers, the less of an easy target you’ll be. Layers of security will discourage ...

How to Read a Roof

Strengthened by new home construction and storm-related damage repairs, U.S. roofing contractors are now in their fourth consecutive year of improved profitability and double-digit increases in sales, according to data from Sageworks, a financial information company. It’s no surprise that professional roofers are in demand. Roofs are often overlooked (excuse the pun) when it comes to showing a house. In many cases, preventative maintenance and regular inspection doesn’t even occur to the owner until there is something wrong. However, roofs are designed to age over time and must be replaced periodically. Defects or issues will surely be caught during the official ...

Flood Insurance Reauthorization Update

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) must be reauthorized by November 30, 2018. Periodically, Congress must renew the NFIP’s statutory authority to operate. The President signed legislation on July 31, 2018 to extend the program’s authorization to November 30, 2018. Usually, Congress has always honored the NFIP, particularly the contracts that are already in place with NFIP policyholders. What if the reauthorization fails or lapses? FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) would still have the authority to ensure the payment of valid claims with available funds. However, FEMA would have to stop selling and renewing flood policies for millions of properties across the ...

Examples of Selling Highly Famous Homes

In July 2018, the second-most-photographed house in America (after The White House) went on the market — for the first time in 45 years. The famous Brady Bunch house was filmed only for the exterior shots; as a result, it became one of the most recognized houses in the world. The sitcom ran on ABC from 1969-1974, and forever in reruns and reincarnations. The facade, located in Studio City, California, had become iconic and beloved over the course of decades, and is a major tourist attraction (at least from the outside). The home itself is actually ranch-style (despite the staircase depicted in ...

A Growing Interest in Million-Dollar Ghost Towns

There is a growing interest in — of all things — million-dollar ghost towns, according to The Real Deal. “Ghost town” is the nickname given to settlements whose population has since moved on, usually due to economic change. Many of these towns are located alongside abandoned mines or farmland. Usually, all that is left behind are the properties — homes, commercial buildings — now old and decaying. Interested buyers: mostly churches and corporations, who often buy properties as a marketing strategy, to preserve history or to launch a new project. Celebrities too: Jon Voight lives alone on his 225-acre property, Sunrise, Wyoming ...

Quarterly Tax Time Reminders

As you probably know all too well, you normally make estimated tax payments four times a year. The remaining dates that apply for this year are September 15, 2018 (for the months of July, August and September 2018) and January 15, 2019 (for October, November and December 2018). The IRS requires you to make quarterly estimated tax payments for 2018 if you owe at least $1,000 in federal tax (after subtracting federal tax withholding and refundable credits). You also owe if you expect federal withholding and refundable credits to be less than the smaller of 90 percent of the tax to ...

How to Talk to Your Clients About their Credit Score

Due to the recent economy and simply the demands of life in general, almost nobody has a perfect credit score. A poor score can stand in the way of your client securing financing for a property, or affect the amount they would have to pay. A credit score is simply an overview of a client’s financial history and current debt. A number (score) is assigned as a result of a variety of factors: payment history, amount of credit owed, types of credit established (loans, credit cards), the utilization of credit (how close your client is to the credit limit), and how ...

The State of Retail Leasing 2018

Contrary to popular belief, brick-and-mortar retail is not dead, and the retail apocalypse is slowing due to the innovation of creative leasing agents. No one can deny that 2017 was a miserable year for retail leasing. During that time, store-closing announcements more than tripled, to about 7,000 casualties, according to think tank Fung Global Retail and Technology. There were over 600 retail-sector bankruptcies reported, including such stalwarts as Toys R Us, Payless, and The Limited. The year ended on a more promising note. In November 2017, consumer spending in brick-and-mortar stores increased by 0.8 percent, according to The Wall Street ...

How Climate Change Could be Impacting Real Estate

Although climate change is still being hotly debated, its effect on real estate presents no doubt. Zillow estimates that rising sea levels threaten 1.9 million homes in Florida, New Jersey, and New York, and in cities such as Boston (17 percent of homes), Honolulu (24 percent) and Miami (30 percent). As a result, the long-love affair with coastal properties may be waning. Home sales in flood-prone coastal areas grew about 25 percent less quickly than counties that do not typically flood, according to Attom Data Solutions. One of the main reasons: costs. Insurance premiums are increasing to reflect rising ...

Selling A Condo (As Opposed to a House)

You already know that selling different types of properties require different sales strategies. Condominiums are in a sales class by themselves. Although like most real estate, location is a huge factor in selling a condo, there are other factors that may make a difference in the buying and selling of a condo property (see below). The good news: condos tend to sell faster than traditional houses, according to Realtor.com. The site goes on to advise that end units usually draw a higher price. It’s also believed that condos are particularly attractive to first-time buyers. Keep this checklist handy when helping your ...