Top Field Guides for September 2016

Field Guides are one-stop resource packages on dozens of subjects of interest to REALTORS®. On each page you’ll find links to articles, books, web sites, statistics, and other material on each subject. The list of the most-used field guides from Information Central for the month of September 2016 was released today:

  1. Field Guide to Quick Real Estate Statistics
  2. Field Guide to Being a New REALTOR®
  3. Field Guide to Opening a Real Estate Brokerage
  4. Field Guide to Farming & Prospecting
  5. Field Guide to Facebook for REALTORS®
  6. Field Guide to 1031 Exchanges
  7. Field Guide to Marketing Tips for REALTORS®
  8. Field Guide to Preparing & Staging a House for Sale
  9. Field Guide to the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule (TRID)
  10. Field Guide to Drones and Real Estate

Have an idea for a new field guide? Let us know!

New and Updated in the Library – September 2016

The following Field Guides have recently been updated in the Library:

Credit Scoring

Credit scoring has become a serious issue in the lending community and it can affect your ability to obtain or refinance your next mortgage. Credit scoring systems can gauge a mortgage applicant’s credit rating and assign an interest rate and risk value based upon information provided in the loan application. Credit scoring offers several advantages. It provides quick recommendations while taking human judgment out of the equation. Credit scoring also is extremely efficient and, usually, inexpensive. This updated field guide includes articles and books relating to credit scoring.

Mediation & Conflict Resolution

Traditionally, real estate industry disputes rely on negotiation for solutions. If negotiation fails, litigation is often initiated. Mediation involves the skillful intervention of a third-party professional to help resolve disputes that arise between two or more parties. This page includes a variety of resources, including articles, website links, books and other sources relating to mediation, conflict resolution, arbitration and dispute resolution.

Errors & Omissions (E&O) Insurance

The ever-increasing complexities of real estate transactions and the rising use of litigation have prompted a need for errors and omissions (E&O) insurance programs to reduce the risk to sales associates and the real estate firms they represent against potential lawsuits. The following items address E&O and professional liability insurance, answering many of the questions REALTORS® may have about how E&O insurance works and how to choose a provider. Some state associations also have carriers they recommend (please check with your state association for this information). Please see this list for additional Errors & Omission Insurance Providers.


You meet lots of people in the real estate business—some nice and some not so nice. Learn how to protect yourself at open houses and in the car. Get safety tips, handouts, and posters from the National Association of REALTORS® and REALTOR® Associations.

Effective Online Marketing

An online presence is a vital component of a real estate professional’s marketing strategy. Because today’s consumers want accurate information quickly and conveniently, real estate professionals must harness the features and capabilities of online marketing to meet these ever-increasing needs. In this field guide you will find an overview of online marketing basics, tips on marketing your website, and information on how to use email and blogging. You will also find NAR’s trademark and policy issues, as well as a variety of useful websites that can take your internet marketing to new heights. 


What We’re Reading: September 12-16

Layover, communication, flying fish, investing, tiny home, canines, higher ed, marketing, human response, walking, iPhones, and reading.

At least this guy would have plenty of time to make his connecting flight!

Poor communication could be holding you back from being a great leader. How well do you communicate with others?

This gives new meaning to “being catfished.”

This is a different entrée to investment properties… Tony Alter 2009 Tony Alter/flickr/2009

Short on time and cash, but in need of housing? Try this.

Look at that face! This gentle giant has no idea how big he is.

The 2017 Best College Rankings list is out! Where does your school fall on the list? And what is the gender wage gap for graduates of your alma mater?

Whatever your reason for exodus, this agent is using the 2016 election as a marketing gimmick.

Feeling frustrated? Will you lash out verbally, or perhaps you want something more tangible?

For those of you in the LA area who have been intending to take more walks, but are held back by loneliness or safety concerns, consider hiring this guy.

Finally! The ability to delete stock apps from an iPhone! Here are some other iPhone tricks and tips you might not know.

How long did it take you to read this? Save yourself some time next week.



Your Search Is Over! This Article Has What You Need To Know About Real Estate Investing

It can seem glamorous to get into real estate investment. There are many stories of people purchasing homes for very little and making a hefty profit on them. There are TV programs devoted to home improvement to boost property value. Even so, real estate isn’t as simple as the media would have you believe. You must know what you need to do; that is where this article comes in.

Create an LLC if you’re positive that you’re getting into real estate. This helps protect your investments. It can also help boost your chances of getting tax benefits thanks to your business dealings.

Invest your time and energies into learning about the real estate market. You must budget your time wisely if you want to make good profits consistently. Stop playing softball or poker to focus on becoming better.

Find a market you enjoy. It is easier to get into a successful flow with your investing if you are focused on your market segment. It is very important that you stay with what works and what you are good at, and that is the best way to generate lots of success for you.

When doing a home improvement that requires digging, call to see if buried lines are present. This can potentially be illegal, especially if you hit into something, such as gas lines.

Educate yourself on the basics of investing in real estate prior to spending your hard earned money. A mistake in this field can cost you thousands of dollars. One of the best investments you can make is in educating yourself.

When you are trying to determine the monetary worth of a home that you are considering buying, don’t neglect to factor in potential rental income. In the right area, you can earn thousands of dollars a year in rental income. Then you could resell the house for a bigger profit later on.

When you invest in a property that you wish to rent, be wary of whom you choose as tenants. The person should pay the rent for the first month and a deposit without a problem. If they tell you that is not possible, they may not be able to pay rent either. Find someone else.

Know the value of your time. Though you might enjoy fixing up a property, is it the best use of your time? Would you be better off finding an alternative property? Whenever it is possible to delegate tasks, do not hesitate. It’s definitely worth it to give you more time for the important things.

Consider using a property management company. While it can eat into your profits a bit, it might be worth the cost. The company that does the property management will screen potential renters and deal with costly repairs. This gives you more time to concentrate on finding other properties in which to invest.

When you begin investing in real estate, you must practice some patience. Understand that real estate deals may take a long time. There may not be the right properties out there, or your terms couldn’t be met. Avoid being rash and investing in something less than perfect. This can actually lose you money in the long run. Be patient, and invest only when a great deal comes your way.

Be certain to buy properties in familiar areas. Since you are familiar with the neighborhood, you are not taking as great a risk. When you live close by, you don’t need to wonder and worry about what’s going on with the property. When you live close to the property it allows you to know what is taking place on the property.

Learn about foreclosures sooner by using a listing service. This will help save you time. These are usually up-to-date, which means your searches will be more accurate.

If you are interested in investing, there is no time like the present. Too many people sit on the sidelines and hurt their chances of eventual success. There are many other people who are jumping into this lucrative type of investment, and you will lose out if you let them beat you to the punch.

Just as you would compare listing and sale prices in the area that you are looking, you should also take note of the rent being charged by others. You cannot expect to charge much more than the highest local rent. You will lose potential tenants by overcharging.

If you’re able to hold onto properties for a time, take advantage of properties in heavily foreclosed upon areas. These properties are going to increase in value eventually, and you will make significant money if you are able to be patient. Only do this if you have the ability to wait until the market is better to get the return on your investment.

Are property values increasing in the area? Are there a lot of rental properties that are vacant? There are two things you must concern yourself with, depending on your situation. You want to buy on the low end when flipping, and you don’t want to affect your rental profits negatively by setting your expectations high only to find out you can’t get enough renters.

Remember that making an investment in real estate will be a big responsibility. Though you should make investments when you are younger, it is important that you are stable, as well. Put down roots within your community, save money and form relationships. There simply is not a better way to make the most of your real estate venture.

Understand that investing often involves sacrifice. Real estate investment can take up most of your time. Sadly, some of your personal time must be sacrificed and you must be prepared to give it up to be successful. Bear this in mind though, once you have reached your goals, you will have plenty of personal time.

Be confident in your decision. Try ignoring it and learning all you can to make better decisions on what to spend your money on. An exception to this is an experienced investor who is rich.

Understand the market lingo. This will help you know what to say to the seller. If a seller thinks you don’t know anything, they can try to get over on you. It is smart to use lingo and know-how to gain leverage. You’ll be at an advantage if you sound professional.

It’s smart to do your research first before you begin investing. After all, you need to ensure that you are making wise decisions and you don’t invest in properties that are bound to be failures. Move forward step by step and keep your strategies fresh if you wish to succeed.

What We’re Reading: September 5-9

Technology, symbols, upcycling, REITs, GoT, housing starts, neighbors, guac, design, and handwriting.

This real estate tech startup is trying to make home buying an online process.

The 15th anniversary of 9/11 is approaching, and an iconic part of the event’s aftermath is back where it belongs.

Don’t trash those building materials! Upcycle for a profitJim Bauer 2012 Jim Bauer/flickr/2012

Property investors worry about the air conditioning in offices? Anyone who’s ever worked in an office will scoff at that notion!

Well, this takes 3D printing to an entirely new level!

The home building market is still feeling the effects of the last housing bust. Construction workers are in demand, and in short supply!

Sometimes neighbors turn out to be bad eggs.

If you’ve been avoiding making guacamole because eating it before it browns feels like too much pressure (is that just us?), then fear no more!

Design seemed to be Apple’s forte, but AirPods might prove that wrong.

Will this skill be saved, or go the way of the dodo?

What We’re Reading: August 29 – September 2

Renovations, RIP, aid, automation, smart homes, time warp, digital natives, new ownership, paint, early birds, paying it forward, and community.

Sure they are big and luxurious, but who’s going to clean them?

While we mourn the passing of the great Gene Wilder, we look back on some of the movies that cemented his place in our collective memory.

How perfectly fitting for a local pasta dish to be used to raise money to aid the earthquake devastated Italian town of Amatrice.

If you use a social media post scheduler, you might notice one platform conspicuously missing — Instagram. Someone is filling the gap.

Zuckerberg has turned his sights to smart home technology — we can’t wait for a demo!

This couple lived in their house for 76 years, and people were treated to a bit of a time capsule when it hit the market.

Speaking of things from the past being preserved, check out the new life breathed into iconic London’s red telephone boxesMoyan Brenn 2008 Moyan Brenn/flickr/2008

Parents have good reason to limit their children’s screen time.

What will be the fate of this Chicago landmark building?

2017 colors of the year include Poised Toupe — as opposed to Awkward Toupe?

Sorry to report, but a lot of successful people are early risers. Here are some early morning tips to help you out.

Want to give back, but don’t know where to start? Try little things that will make a difference.

How close are you with your friends? Could you see yourself doing this with them?

What We’re Reading: August 22-26

Technology, science, sportsmanship, um, baseball, unique homes, paint, travel, www, and trade secrets.

We dream of a world in which we have a strong WiFi signal in each room of the house.

Have you updated your iPhone recently? You might want to.

Pokemon Go is causing concern among some conservationists.

Prepare ship for Ludicrous Speed!

Scientists have determined the best way to hold a coffee cup to avoid spillage. Good job, Science. kate mccarthy 2008 kate mccarthy/flickr/2008

Who said being nice doesn’t get you anything?

We will reserve comment and just leave this here for you.

The good news is that a baseball player hit a grand slam, the bad news is where the ball landed.

You’ll have a yabba dabba doo time in this house! If you are short on square footage, take inspiration from these Japanese micro houses!

Whatever house you choose, just stay away from these four colors.

Rising sea levels threatening your home? There’s a solution for that.

The Olympics are over, and all these tired athletes want to do is go home, but first

Happy 25th birthday to the World Wide Web, without which we would not be able to share these great articles!

Could this be the secret recipe for KFC chicken?



What We’re Reading: August 15-19

Harry Potter, RE investment, environmental change, names, careers, apps, TV, health, and Middle Earth.

We were told no more Harry Potter stories, but that doesn’t mean we won’t get more from the Potter universe!

If only we had had the money to invest in real estate as 11 year olds

The Playboy Mansion has finally sold, with at least one contingency — Hefner stays through his lifetime.

Rising sea levels are threatening the future of this Alaskan village. What will it take to save it? While we’re on the topic, supraglacial lakes are appearing in Greenland, and while beautiful, they are not a good signNASA Earth Observatory

NASA Earth Observatory

Simones were huge winners at the Olympics, and there might be more of them in the future!

Olympic athletes hold all kinds of jobs to support their training and their families — this one happens to be a REALTOR®!

Looking to switch up your video calling software? Google has a new app for you.

Need suggestions on something to read/watch/listen to now that you’ve binged your way through a favorite show? This guide is for you!

Is your employer considering relocating from ‘burbs to the city? You can employ healthy habits once you get there!

Do you know the way to Mordor?

What We’re Reading: August 8-12

Olympics, mortgages, castles, design, tedium, cookies, autonomous growth, reviews, and tech!

Train for citius, altius, fortius, but don’t count on making a profit. Rule 40 prevents athletes from cashing in during the games. If a gold medal winner wants cash, they could sell their medal for $564.

One (profiting) athlete just tied an Olympic record held by an ancient competitor.

 Patrick Hoesly 2010

Patrick Hoesly/flickr/2010

There are age requirements now, but in the very beginning of the nineteenth century, the Olympics had a very young, mysterious participant.

How many hours per week do you need to work in order to afford a home in your state?

A man’s home is his castle, but this castle could be your home for the right price in September.

Now you can create customized color palettes using Pantone’s new app.

First it was Slow Food, then Slow TV, now it is Slow-Game Apps.  Plant a few seeds and see what slowly happens.

Girl Scout cookie flavors come and go — will this one stick around or flame out?

How would you like to live in a house that could repair itself after a fire? It could be in our future.

For those of us lacking a green thumb, maybe this grow box is a solution. For legal plant life, obvs.

So, a company known for its performance review software is getting rid of its own performance reviews because they are too time-consuming and expensive? Really?

Only a few more weeks until the newest iPhone is revealed!

What You Need To Do To Invest In Real Estate

Does getting involved with real estate look like something you want to do? Have you see others profit from it? It really is possible to generate profits by getting involved with real estate deals. All you need is a little knowledge. Apply this advice to get your market adventures underway.

Before investing in any form of real estate, make sure you analyze the market and go out and do some research. Select a location, pick out a number of properties, and then go inspect and compare them. Know things such as current prices, cost of repairs and what you can expect to get in rent. This will help you figure out which deals are the best.

If you want to invest in real estate, you have to be committed to the process. This might mean that you will be cutting back on certain activities in order to make more cash. Stop playing softball or poker to focus on becoming better.

Be certain to choose regions that have good reputations and where lots of people want to live. This will maximize the value that you get when selling. Try looking for properties that you can be kept up easily.

Make sure that you devote a lot of time to your investment. Dealing with your tenants can be very time consuming. Before it becomes overwhelming, it can be a smart choice to get the help of a company who can handle property management for you.

Do not make the assumption that your property will go up in value. This assumption is risky in the real estate market and for any one piece of property. Only invest in those that give you an almost immediate cash flow. If the property value increases, that will be an added benefit.

Don’t assume that any property values always rise. This is not how the market works, and you should definitely not count on this happening. Invest in properties which are almost certain to rise in value. If the property appreciates in value, it will be beneficial to your bottom line.

Work with other real estate investors. Try to lose the image of them as competitors. This way you can share your resources with each other, such as client lists, and you can pool collections of properties. When you help out one another, you can get more satisfied clientele. This will surely enhance your reputation.

Know the value of your time. Though you might enjoy fixing up a property, is it the best use of your time? Would you be better off finding an alternative property? Whenever it is possible to delegate tasks, do not hesitate. It’s definitely worth it to give you more time for the important things.

Look over the entire neighborhood before buying a property. The right neighborhoods hold value, but bad neighborhoods are not going to provide you with a solid return. Buyers look closely at location, and you should too.

Think about employing a professional property manager. While you will have to spend some profit on doing this, it will be worth it most of the time. A good property management business screens your prospective renters and even handles repair issues. This gives you more time to concentrate on finding other properties in which to invest.

You’ll go through bad and good times in real estate investing. It’s smart that you don’t allow these lows to make you give up. Persistence is key to finding success in the real estate market. Keep learning, keep trying and you will accomplish great things.

Start investing immediately if you are thinking of making real estate a career or side business. Get in as soon as you can to reap the benefits. You may miss out on investment opportunities if you wait too long.

It is easier to invest in more than one property if they are all located in the same area. This will allow you to avoid major expenses in gas or time as you travel to your properties. You will also enhance your expertise in that region.

Begin with purchasing a single property. Though you may be tempted to purchase multiple listings at once, this can be extremely risky for a newcomer. Instead, begin with a single property and allow yourself to learn an investment strategy over time. You will benefit in the end.

Stay away from houses that need tons of repairs. You should buy a place that requires little work if you want to make money. As often happens though, most homes like this drain money and time quickly. In addition to doing research, add the numbers up.

Begin with one investment. If you’re just getting started with real estate investing, it can be a tempting mistake to purchase several properties at once. Focus on quality at first with only one property. This will benefit you in the long run.

Remember that making an investment in real estate will be a big responsibility. Though you should make investments when you are younger, it is important that you are stable, as well. Put down roots within your community, save money and form relationships. There simply is not a better way to make the most of your real estate venture.

Think about purchasing in locales with lots of foreclosures if you are able to keep hold of properties for a fair amount of time before you need to sell. These properties are going to increase in value eventually, and you will make significant money if you are able to be patient. Keep in mind that it might be some time before you can cash in and get your money back, however.

Plenty of folks you know will try and dissuade you from investing in real estate. Learn how to block out pessimism so you can instead focus on learning and making wise decisions. An exception to this is an experienced investor who is rich.

Know the marketplace’s lingo. You should have good idea what you are talking about at all times. If you come across as someone new to the business, the seller might try to take advantage of you. You want to use your lingo and your knowledge to your advantage. If you sound professional, negotiations become easier.

Try to steer clear of adversity with real estate investing. Think over the options you have and consider what the benefits will be for those involved with this. Real estate investments often prove to be a good idea, so don’t skip out on the potential of this.