Bunker down: preparing for the worst

There has been a movement over the past decade or so that you may have become aware of. It involves people who want their homes (and themselves) to be prepared in case a natural disaster or man-made catastrophe were to strike and they would need to be self-reliant for an extended period of time. The people — a minority of homeowners to be sure — who like to be prepared for the worst case scenarios out there are called ‘preppers.’ Since we do our best to cover all things related to the real estate industry for REALTORS...

2017 Outlook: An open letter from eCommission founder, Sean Whaling

Greetings! What a year it has been for real estate since my last open letter. Mortgage rates stayed at historic lows and most every market in the U.S. saw growth in new home and existing home sales. eCommission finished the year strong too, surpassing our annual funding goals and adding nearly 250 original posts to the eCommission blog to help hard working real estate agents like you find ways to be more productive and successful. And we are not done! eCommission is committed to making 2017 an even better year for our customers by offering more helpful advice, more insightful coaching from Barbara ...

6 ways elections can impact real estate

“You may not care about politics, but politics cares about you,” goes an old saying. Even if the two candidates running for president aren’t talking about real estate, you can bet that actions they take when they get the job will affect the industry you work in. Real estate is such an important part of the American economy that it is nearly impossible for politicians to ignore it. Financial Regulation It was a real estate crisis, after all, that provoked the Great Recession eight years ago. Different politicians have very different interpretations of what mistakes led ...

Are tiny houses here to stay?

We’ve touched upon the tiny house movement before as a trend to watch, and now we’re curious about where that trend is today. Is it blossoming into a lifestyle or should it be seen as another passing fad? With measurable benefits like minimal upkeep, the ability to travel, and low costs, tiny houses have proved that they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Here are a few reasons why the tiny house movement is more than just a movement – it’s a lifestyle choice: Easy on the wallet When you have a house ...

Smart home technology: How to avoid getting hacked

These days, you don’t only have to worry about getting your computer, your email or your social media hacked. Increasingly, everything in your life will be hooked up to the internet, including your electric and water meters, your fridge, your TV and your thermostat. All of these “smart” appliances make life easier, but they also are connected to an internet system that can be hacked. Require passwords for Wi-Fi Even a password-protected Wi-Fi network can be hacked, but one that requires no code is particularly vulnerable. Even if you live in a relatively isolated area and ...

Should you try a social good real estate model?

Real estate agents are often deeply engaged in their communities. In addition to finding people homes, they are prolific givers of time and money to local philanthropic causes. Why? For one thing, real estate agents are often social types who enjoy interacting with and helping people. Second, it probably doesn’t hurt that volunteering is a great way to meet people who might want to buy or sell a house. But some real estate agents are taking their interest in community service a step further. Instead of reserving charitable work for their free time, some are integrating it into their business. Some call ...

Innovation: an open letter from eCommission founder, Sean Whaling

You don’t have to look hard to see that innovation in many industries is growing, especially in financial services. In real estate, eCommission has taken on the challenge of addressing the financial needs of agents and brokers. And by doing so, it is altering the way they manage their business cash flow. Cash flow rollercoaster. The challenge faced by commission-based professionals is that their income often fluctuates. Some months are great, others…not so much. Like real estate mogul, Barbara Corcoran, said in her helpful tip series for agents, it can feel like an income rollercoaster sometimes because of the unpredictability ...

Three months into TRID: A first assessment

Three months have passed since TRID took effect on October 3, 2015. TRID is an acronym derived from TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosure and encompasses a set of rules meant to help borrowers better understand the terms of their home financing. For this reason TRID is sometimes simply referred to as the ‘Know Before You Owe’ rule. Under the new measure borrowers must now be given the new combined Loan Estimate (LE) with all the charges, fees and line items that come with the loan three days before the closing, and no longer at the closing. The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) surveyed REALTORS® ...

10 Reasons for Real Estate Agents to Blog

Blogging as a marketing activity has been around for a while, at least since the late 90s. Its adoption by real estate professionals, however, has been fairly spotty. It’s really no surprise. Blogging requires a lot of work, creative brainstorming and a love of writing. Plus, blogging requires a long-term commitment to developing your brand and plenty of patience to wait for sales leads. Nevertheless, blogging can lead to amazing results for real estate agents who choose to pursue it. Many successful businesses, agents included, that blog regularly are said o generate 126% more leads than ones that don’t according to ...

Real Estate 2016: An Open Letter from eCommission Founder, Sean Whaling

Greetings! Talking to customers throughout the country everyday gives me a unique perspective on what agents might expect in 2016. Will we see another consistent housing market or a slow-down tempered by rising interest rates? Will more Millennials take the plunge into home ownership or Baby Boomers downsize into smaller homes, condos or RVs? Unless I’m mistaken, it certainly seems like the housing market will continue its rebound, albeit gradual, from the housing crisis of eight years ago. While it’s true that interest rates are on the rise, mortgage rates remain at near-historic lows. What we may see is that a great ...