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LuxuryRealEstate.com Annual Membership Conference in Vancouver, B.C. - 09/30/07 12:02 PM
The twelfth annual LuxuryRealEstate.com Membership Conference is underway in Vancouver, British Columbia. The event will continue through October 2. Described at the "ultimate networking opportunity" for luxury properties brokerage firms, the event will be held at the grand Hotel Vancouver. Hosting the event will be LRE.com's founder and publisher of Who's Who In Luxury Real Estate?, John Brian Losh. Attendees will be treated to luxury-specific workshops and seminars. Among the featured speakers will be Marcus Wally, CIPS, who will be making his first appearance before LRE.com members. Presentation topics will include a "State of the Market" report and workshops on technology and marketing. I attended the (0 comments)
New Website, FakeChecks.org Educates the Public About Fraud & Scams - 09/29/07 06:04 PM
A recently developed website, www.FakeChecks.org, is educating consumers about the risks of falling prey to Internet and other Scams. The site was created by the National Consumers' League, in collaboration with the Alliance for Consumer Fraud Awareness. NCL is the nation's oldest non-profit consumer organization and the original intent of the site was to educate people about scams involving phony checks. FakeChecks.org offers an online "Fraud Test" and several other resources, including videotaped recreations of typical scams, prevention advice & Frequently Asked Questions, plus an online Fraud Report Form. The site has been introduced to the public on the NBC Nightly News and elsewhere. (6 comments)
Do We Need A New Term for "FSBO"? - 09/29/07 01:50 PM
An attorney friend of mine (who is also a REALTOR® in a neighboring state) told a story last week about his appearance before the State Legislature to discuss proposed changes in real estate contracts. As he spoke, he referenced "FSBOs" a number of times. Midway through his presentation, he was interrupted by a disapproving legislator who inquired, "Sir, why do you insist on calling these people names merely because they choose to sell their own property"? My attorney friend was dumbfounded. He replied to the frowning legislator that FSBO is an acronym, like "NASA" or "HUD" and is not meant to be (29 comments)
“We’re Coming After You” Says HUD Spokesperson - 09/28/07 01:52 PM
CBS Radio reported today that HUD is reporting higher levels of housing discrimination complaints nationwide than in recent years. A HUD spokesperson stated that many such complaints have come from the area hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina. HUD declared its intent to crack down on violations of Fair Housing laws and to engage in greater enforcement efforts dealing with Internet advertising that contains discriminatory language. Elaborating on the report, the spokesperson commented about Websites which post tenant vacancies and which occasionally include housing advertising language which discriminates against the elderly, families with children and minorities. She commented that HUD is aware of these (8 comments)
How Do You Refer to Your Fellow Real Estate Professionals? What Steps Do You Take to Help Protect the REALTOR® Trademark? - 09/27/07 03:52 PM
We have all read posts from time to time which appear to refer to all real estate license holders as "Realtors". Without naming names or singling out any particular post, I wanted to address the issue of how we refer to our colleagues in a manner that does not jeaopardize the REALTOR® trademark. In a search of related posts about this topic, I have noticed that many reasons were stated for the need to "promote" or "protect" the REALTOR® registered mark. But there is an issue behind the need that goes beyond differentiating ourselves from those who do not belong to the National (21 comments)
The Minneapolis-Saint Paul area was chosen as "Best for Business" among U.S. cities by MarketWatch.com last Friday. The Twin Cities topped second-place Denver, Colorado by thirty-eight points in the survey. The rating criteria ranged from factors such as job growth, unemployment rates and population demographics to the number of large companies in each city. Other city rankings in the Midwest included Columbus, Ohio (14th), Kansas City (16th), Milwaukee (18th), Saint Louis (19th), Cleveland (22nd), Chicago (23rd), Indianapolis (28th), Cincinnati (32nd) and Detroit (44th). San Francisco-based MarketWatch praised the Twin Cities area for its "high concentration of massive and diverse Fortune 1000 and S&P (4 comments)
What I Learned in Class Today: Notes from the Wisconsin Realtors' Association Convention - 09/24/07 05:14 PM
Today I attended a workshop presentation by Amy Chorew at the Wisconsin Realtors' Association Convention in Baraboo, Wisconsin. Ms. Chorew is an e-PRO Trainer and is a Senior Trainer with Matthew Ferrara & Company. The workshop was entitled "Blogs and Podcasts, The New Interactive Web Tools". There were just under forty agents in attendance at this workshop. When Ms. Chorew asked for a show of hands in response to her question, "how many of you are blogging now?" three attendees raised their hands. I was one of them. The rest were mostly unaware of the basics of blogging and podcasting. I was a bit (9 comments)
Inviting People to Join Active Rain - How Many Are Accepting Your Invitation to Join? - 09/21/07 11:17 AM
When you invite a friend or colleague in the industry to join Active Rain, do they discuss the invitation with you? Or do they give any reasons why they choose NOT to join? What percentage of those you invite actually join Active Rain? Where does your list of invitees come from? Are they mostly new agents? People in your office? How do you explain the advantages of becoming a member? Do you have suggestions about the invitation process that could help improve your success? Are there other creative ideas out there for increasing membership and bringing talented people to Active Rain? I've found that about (20 comments)
Home Elevators Have Become Inexpensive and Easy to Install -- Check this out! - 09/15/07 09:32 AM
One of the latest technologies to appear in homes is the pneumatic home elevator system. These systems work much like the pneumatic tubes you use at the drive-up window of your bank. Suction pulls the elevator upward and the controlled release of vacuum gently lowers the elevator as needed. It takes very little square footage to retrofit one of these in a home. The tube compartment will fit within just over one square yard! And for perhaps $25,000 or less, you can install one of these in an existing home or a new one. Building contractors have discovered that these units are quite easy to (11 comments)
Contribute Your Questions for HUD Interview - Opportunity to Ask HUD Your Fair Housing Questions! - 09/14/07 01:31 PM
I have been granted an interview with an official from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) sometime this coming week. My goal is to relay to HUD the many questions I've encountered here from AR members as a result of my recent blog post on the subject of Fair Housing laws and enforcement issues. The answers I obtain will become material for a future post on the subject. If you have anything you wish to ask HUD about Fair Housing issues as they pertain to real estate licensees or consumers, please contribute your questions here. I will forward an unedited copy of these questions to the HUD (22 comments)
Is it Condoning Racism to Ignore It? It's Time to Speak Out on Fair Housing Laws and Issues! - 09/11/07 07:03 PM
The inspiration for this post came from another by Charles McDonald, who contributed "Why is my Agent so Vague?" yesterday. Charles wrote on an extremely important topic, Fair Housing Laws and the importance of complying with them. I urge you to read Charles' post and to pay particular attention to the comments that were contributed by Active Rain members! A few weeks ago, I read another blog post by another agent on Active Rain who wrote that she'd been approached by a client and asked to provide information which would violate Fair Housing Laws. She was asked "Is this a mixed neighborhood?" and she chose to (86 comments)
Okay, Rainers..listen up! I'm looking for members here who either specialize in selling Island properties or agents who have sold Island homes or lots in the past. We own and operate a real estate office in the town of LaPointe, Wisconsin (on Madeline Island). Madeline Island is located in the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior, in the northwest part of the State of Wisconsin. Specifically, I'd like you to share your experiences working with buyers of island property. Who are they and what kind of buyer is drawn to owning a home on an island? What special situations did you encounter during the process? How about financing? Was it a greater-than-usual challenge (6 comments)
CBS Reports New Canadian Scam Targeting Seniors in the United States - 09/10/07 06:07 PM
It was just reported on CBS television that a new telemarketing "boiler room" scam originating in Canada is fleecing Americans out of millions of dollars each week. CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric introduced the story as part of a multi-part series on scammers who prey on Seniors with the goal of stripping them of their retirement savings. Victims are told over the phone that they've "won big money" and they are directed to mail funds to pay the taxes on their winnings prior to receiving the prize money. CBS reporter Armen Keteyian stated that the Canadian scammers instruct their victims to send cash (3 comments)
Bernanke Doesn't Have a Monopoly on Fed Decision-Making - 09/04/07 12:34 PM
About ten days ago, I read with great interest a post by a Florida real estate agent and member of AR who wrote a very convincing blog post which argued that new Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will single-handedly rescue America from the "laxity" of the Greenspan era. And if you didn't know anything about economics or how the Fed works, you might actually have believed what that blog author was writing. Spend an hour listening to former Federal Reserve Economist Edward Lotterman and you'll learn how inaccurate and misleading that AR blog really was. Lotterman spent nearly a decade as a regional economist (10 comments)
Doing Business in More Than One State? Share Your Challenges and Experiences! - 09/03/07 07:07 PM
I know there are Active Rain members who conduct business in multiple states. Perhaps your main office is close to a state border like ours (the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area is next door to the Wisconsin border). Do you sell primary homes in one state and second homes or recreational properties in another? Or do you have a license in a "sun belt" state and sell to second home buyers from your home service area? Do you belong to more than one MLS or Board? Which state do you consider your primary market? Do you find it a challenge to keep up with licensing and continuing education requirements in multiple states? Do the states where you (6 comments)
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.