How to Protect Yourself from Client-Initiated Sexual Harassment

We’re living in a long-overdue time when inappropriate behavior and professional misconduct is not tolerated on any level. Although what often doesn’t change is a sexual harassment victim’s reluctance to report the behavior, or even wrestling with the very definition of harassment. It’s defined by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassments of a sexual nature. If a client is making you uncomfortable in any way, or harassing you in a way that cannot be denied or debated, you have a right to protect yourself. Of course, you ...

Use Video to Build Your Brand and Market Your Properties

Video is consistently proving to be a useful tool for website engagement; in other “words,” for clients to spend more of their valuable time on your site. We’ve all heard the expression, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” According to V. Michael Santoro and John S. Rizzo, co-founders of InVidz, LLC and developers of Vaetas, an online video marketing syndication network, adding a video means you could keep customers engaged for a full two minutes. That may not sound like a very long time, but two minutes is gold when it comes to appealing to potential clients’ deteriorating ...

Study: The Housing Affordability Gap for Minorities

In the course of your work, you may be noticing a growing gap between the haves and have-nots. Housing affordability is becoming a growing and increasingly obvious problem. According to a recent study by Redfin, home prices across the country’s largest cities have increased by 26 percent since the Great Recession rock-bottomed in 2012. Since that time, the median household income rose 1.6 percent, but housing affordability for the middle class is diminishing. Redfin uses this example: In 2012, a family earning the area median income could afford 44 percent of the homes for sale. By 2016, the share of ...

How to Sell a Home with a Bad Past

A stigmatized house may often be a hard sell. In the digital age, there are very few secrets — prospective buyers can search for any gruesome details and facts about an unfortunate event that once took place on the property. Even if the home is a gem, it still may sit on the market for longer than it should, because of its dark past. The history can affect (or not affect) prospective buyers — a violent or widely reported murder or suicide, a common belief that the property is haunted, or even someone who died peacefully in the home — can ...

How Tax Reform May Affect Real Estate Agents

The National Association of Realtors®(NAR) worked hard to make sure the new tax bill would include some advantages for real estate agents. As a result, many agents and brokers will see a significant deduction on their business income. The new tax law brings lower tax rates for just about all individual filers. This current tax reform is the largest change to the system in 30 years. It was passed in December 2017 and took effect as of January 2018. As a result of the bill, NAR is projecting a slower growth in home prices of 1-3 percent in 2018, even as ...

Benefit from a Commission Advance at Tax Time and Beyond

When you live solely on commissions, cash flow and timing are vital. Most real estate agents learn the hard way that commission payments don’t always sync up with billing cycles — including quarterly tax payment requirements. Not only could this be harmful economically, but it can also be psychologically damaging — a career demotivator. Don’t give up hope. eCommission can help with advances on that all-important commission payment, before the final closing on the property. The advanced commission payment can help keep cash flow consistent and bridge the time gap between commission checks, especially at tax time. It’s not a loan — ...

The Most Gentrified Cities in America

Gentrification is the buying and renovation of houses and stores in deteriorated urban neighborhoods by upper- or -middle-income families or individuals, raising property values but often displacing low-income families and small businesses, according to Dictionary.com. The site also defines gentrification as the process of conforming to an upper- or middle-class lifestyle, or making a product, activity, etc., appealing to those with more affluent tastes. However you define it, gentrification has been a controversial mixed blessing, to say the least. Depending on what side you’re on, the process is either a new lease on life for a troubled, decaying neighborhood, or ...

How to Sell a Good Home in a Bad Neighborhood

There is not much you can do about an undesirable neighborhood if it conceals a hidden gem that you just know you can sell. The buyer has to have an open mind, and should remember to focus on the value of the property before being discouraged by the lack of charm in the neighborhood. In fact, these days, many neighborhoods don’t stay undesirable for long — they tend to improve if the properties are worth pursuing. Here are a few tips on how to make a great house in a not-so-great nabe marketable: Appeal to first-time buyers These are the clients who ...

Estimated Tax Considerations for Real Estate Agents

Although the digital age is changing so many dynamics in the real estate business, the tax process is mostly business as usual. Most agents are still considered independent contractors or self-employed sole proprietors. In most of all cases, that means that no taxes are withheld from your commission checks; therefore, you’re responsible for paying taxes four times a year (quarterly). These are called “estimated taxes,” an educated guess as to how much you will be earning and the resulting percentage you will pay in taxes. These estimated taxes are used to pay both income taxes and self-employment taxes (Social Security and Medicare ...

Find Your Niche in Real Estate

Real estate offers a wide world of opportunity, but you will be most successful when you narrow down your skills and focus on a specialty. Set a goal to become the go-to agent for a specific area or type of property or client. However, finding what type of real estate excites you — or choosing among many — can be challenging. Ask yourself the following questions when drilling down to your specialty niche: What do I know most about my community? Research what type of people live there (for instance, Millennials or Baby Boomers). Find out which groups are the most underserved ...