What We’re Reading: June 6-10

Libraries, finance, icons, piracy, nature, architecture, Silly String, public speaking, Harry Potter, flight, robots, and the internet.

What do libraries offer when books are no longer on the shelves? Will this be the future?

Denmark turns normal financial models on their heads.

Remember when the Beatles met the GOAT?

Piracy really can happen to anyone — even the Zuck.

OMG! Double rainbow! It’s beautiful. Double rainbow OG for reference. Ales Kladnik 2014 Ales Kladnik/flickr/2014

Many ideas have been proposed to repurpose the gaping hole left by the uncompleted Spire, but none have come to fruition. Here is the latest suggestion.

Speaking of repurposing, there is nothing silly about this Silly String use.

Are you one of the many, many individuals with a fear of public speaking? Try one of these tips the next time you need to speak in front of a group.

#KeepTheSecrets — we beg of you.

Think of all the things you can do with the money you’ll save this summer! Maybe you’ll want to put that extra savings toward Janis Joplin’s childhood home.

Pardon the pun, but is this a flight of fancy, or a legitimate future? Not to be outdone, the founder of Tesla has his own flight project in the works.

Perhaps the future of robotics lies in the past — we think it’s clear where the BBC took inspiration for Doctor Who’s cybermen.

What is in the future for the internet? Can it be reinvented?

New and Updated in the Library – June 2016

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

Small House Movement

Does size matter? The current economic climate as well as a desire for a greener lifestyle has driven some Americans to examine how much space they really need. The small home movement is hardly a novel concept—just ask New Yorkers who often spend decades in studio apartments. This field guide shows the various aspects of living in a smaller home, as well as links to those considering the ultimate in downsizing.

Green Homes & Green Mortgages

The green movement is here to stay, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the housing market. Find out the latest trends, statistics, reports and resources as well as information on green mortgages in this updated Field Guide.

Association Shared Services

Meaningful partnerships are the foundation for success. Whether the motivation to “share services” or partner with another association is economic, or to offer new, increased and improved services for members, there is information to help you do just that. Below you will find a selection of articles and books pointing out the positive aspects, as well as, the ‘how-to’ to partnering.

Also visit the Shared Services page and RARE database on REALTOR.org for sample agreements, manuals, and other material on shared services.

Franchises vs. Independent Firms

According to the 2015 National Association of REALTORS® Member Profile 59% of all REALTORS® are affiliated with an independent, non-franchised company. In fact most Realtors are likely to be affiliated with an independent, non-franchised company. The decision to join a franchise or an independent firm can be confusing. The pros and cons of each option are examined in this Updated Field Guide.

Marketing Tips for REALTORS®

Marketing is an essential ingredient for the success of any business. The material on this page will give you a wealth of information to help you market your expertise to potential customers. It includes special sections on how to build your personal promotion campaign, increase your presence in a niche market, and strengthen your marketing plan.

Land Investment

While land investment may not provide the instant gratification of a home purchase, this sort of venture can be quite lucrative. Land investors have different needs and concerns than those of typical real estate investors – zoning, planning, environmental issues are just a few of the challenges they must face. This Field Guide will help those who wish to take on this interesting branch of the real estate industry

Hotel/Motel Properties

Hotel and motel investment is a specialized part of the commercial real estate world. But what are the tricks of the trade? Find out what you need to know about management, security, brokerage, and appraisal in the Field Guide to Hotel/Motel Properties.


What We’re Reading: May 23-27

Tech, tech, and more tech, offices, camping, viral videos, photography, and sales strategies!

When was the last time you defragged your hard drive? Extend the life of your laptop battery.

Who else has been holding out for the iPhone 7 release? Find out current rumors about the new model!

Maybe you don’t want a car that can drive itself, but you have to admit that some self-driving features like auto parking are pretty cool. Take that, driver’s ed!

We are also smartening up our houses, but what risks do we face when we connect to the IoT?

We don’t need to work in a playground, but we wouldn’t object to some of the office features that these companies offer. Joe Loong 2008 Joe Loong/flickr/2008

Nope. Never camping in Africa. Just nope.

Huurh huuguughghg aaaaahnr raaaaaahhgh raaaaaahhgh raaaaaahhgh hnnnhrrhhh! That’s Wookie for “this mask has gone as viral as the video!”

Which photographer will win this year’s National Geographic Photographer of the Year award?

Want to show your clients some home-baked love? Give these a shot!

Have you considered using newer technology to sell a home?

Google is trying to authenticate users by a method other than passwords.


What We’re Reading: May 16-20

Naturalism, commencement, exercise, salad, chemistry, AI, books, sharks, alternative housing, and ingenuity!

This building was inspired by sea life.

Quickmeme Quickmeme.com

It is that time of year again, and as we congratulate REALTOR® University’s latest graduating class, we also look at some standout commencement speeches.

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably heard about Tiny Houses, but have you heard the term Granny Pod?

We all want to be healthy, but some of us have trouble finding enjoyment in exercise. Here are some tricks to make it more palatable.

Speaking of health, we have learned it is National Salad Month. Find out the history behind famous salads! We call shenanigans on #7.

What are you made of? This calculator from the BBC breaks down your body’s make up.

Google has made its move on the AI personal assistant front.

Bill Gates is dipping his toes into the librarian field of readers’ advisory — see what he recommends!

Did your dad lie to you, too? Jaws was realTravelbag Ltd 2013 Travelbag Ltd/flickr/2013

You might not be too keen on this housing option after reading that last article…

How did it take this long to come up with a solution?


What We’re Reading: May 9-13

Tricks, division, design, mines, conglomerates, WiFi, urbanization, land, and ADHD.

Patience is a virtue — too bad we don’t always possess it! Here are ways to skip the lines at normally busy places.

Location, location, location. The ability to buy a home in a neighborhood with good schools is driving income segregation.

Necessity is the mother of invention, and, in this case, design.

Speaking of design, these homes are incredibleJenny Parkins 2015 Jenny Parkins/flickr/2015

This is a terrible version of Whack-A-Mole.

Well, if you’re going to buy coffee, you might as well follow up with a doughnut purchase.

Low on data? Know where to go for free WiFi!

Why are some suburbs trying to look more urban?

Russian, no money to spend, and in need of land wherever you can get it? You’re in luck!

We don’t have trouble focus — oh! a butterfly!


Trademark in the Archives, Part II: Promoting REALTOR®

In honor of the REALTOR® Trademark Centennial, we’ve looked back through the NAR Archives to share documents that tell the history of the term. The second post in this series looks at NAR’s early efforts to promote the new term to the public.

In less than a year, the word REALTOR® went from an idea in one member’s mind to an official term adopted by National Association of Real Estate Boards. While members had received notice of the approval via their new REALTOR® certificates, the general public lacked awareness that a new word had even been invented, let alone what it stood for.

REALTOR® logo, 1917.

REALTOR® logo, 1917.

To this end, the REALTOR® Committee was formed in February 1917, chaired by none other than Charles Chadbourn.  Among the committee’s earliest initiatives was the creation of an official logo for the term.  The final selection was a design from the Cincinnati Real Estate Board that featured the word REALTOR® in a striking block font.  Six years later this logo was replaced by the NAREB emblem, which endured as the Association’s emblem for another 56 years.  Members were encouraged to post the emblem in their offices, wear it on pins, and use in their communications and advertisements.


NAREB Emblem, 1923.

NAREB Emblem, 1923.

Recognizing that NAREB could enlist the popular press with help in making the term widely known, the REALTOR® Committee distributed a pamphlet to newspapers and other publishers beginning in 1923.  Titled “REALTOR®: Its Meaning and Use,” it provided a definition and history in order to ensure the term was properly represented in the press.

REALTOR®: Its Meaning and Use, 1923.

REALTOR®: Its Meaning and Use, 1923.

Yet another initiative that originated with the REALTOR® Committee was establishing an advertising service for local boards.  As declared in a 1926 mailing that promoted the service, “it has been pointed out that if the National Association would prepare copy for the use of its Member Boards, and such advertisements were widely used, the effect upon the public mind would be cumulative and all the results of a nation-wide campaign would accrue.”

These advertisements promoted the emblem…

Know Them by this Emblem Ad, 1926.

Know Them by this Emblem Ad, 1926.

The definition…

The Realtor and What He Means To You Pamphlet, page 2, 1931.

The Realtor and What He Means To You Pamphlet, page 2, 1931.

And the professionalism of the REALTOR®.

Sample ads, 1941.

Sample ads, 1941.

Of course, greater public awareness didn’t always translate to proper usage of the term.  The next post in this series will look at how NAREB addressed cases of REALTOR® misuse.

Top Field Guides for April 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 April 2016 was released today:

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

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

What We’re Reading: April 18-22

Music, unique homes, drones, energy, hackers, MickeyD’s, cicadas, streaming video, earthquakes, lifespan, outdoor spaces, sleep, and power plants.

2016 has not been kind to music icons. We lost Prince yesterday, but his impact on the music industry goes farther than you might know.

There are those among us that prefer homes with character and unique features…you will be surprised to see what this living room features!

When will offenders be prosecuted for tampering or destruction of drones, which are considered aircraft by the FAA?

California is leading the pack on renewable energy with laws regulating rooftops of new buildings.

Not all heroes wear capes.

As users become more sophisticated, so do cyber criminals. Don’t fall for one of their tricks.

Unlimited fries at McDonalds? Epic win or epic fail? Nicholas LabrynthX 2005 Nicholas LabrynthX/flickr/2005

Has it been 17 years already?

Amazon has just released a subscription service to their streaming Prime Video collection, but at $8.99/month, why not just buy a $99 Prime membership and get the other perks, too?

Ecuador and Japan suffered tremendous loss and damage from earthquakes in the last week. San Francisco marked the 110th anniversary of its own devastating earthquake this week, as well.

Eat well, exercise…and live near green spaces? New ingredient for a long life.

These are perfect for those of us who are ready to get outside, but still experiencing chilly evenings!

Have trouble falling asleep in a new place? Science is here to tell us why.

What a great idea for people who don’t rely on their phone to remind them to water plants.

What We’re Reading: April 11-15

Sleep, language, travel, Millennials, weather alerts, censorship, lawncare, blisters, GoT, small eviction, Star Wars, taxes, and more!

Sleep is our favorite! We’d clean up at Aetna!

Did we have a schnapsidee or a luftschloss? We’re going to end this snippet before we verschlimmbessern.

This app would have been so useful when we traveled from Chicago to San Diego for annual!

There are so many conflicting reports about what Millennials will or won’t spend the money (they don’t have) on.

This is a smart move…the NWS sometimes felt like the boy who cried wolf, especially when you get an alert about FLURRIES.

Feel like talking to a random Swede? Go for itflattop341 2007 flattop341/flickr/2007

How satisfying is it when your lawn has perfect diagonal lines? Wait, what does that say about us?

Anyone who has ever had to break in new shoes can appreciate this life hack!

Everyone is a fan of Game of Thrones, even SiriSiri_Siliconborn_house_Apple Mashable

Speaking of things born out of Silicon Valley, here is a follow up story on the guy who lived in a box in his friend’s apartment.

Some movies are just meant to be seen on a big screen!

Still haven’t filed your taxes? You have three extra days to do so this year!

The real estate market is shaped by many players, but some are cloaked by shell corporations.

How many of your Facebook feeds are filled with what seems to be the same cooking video over and over and over again?

We’ve read a lot about boomerang kids moving back in with their parents, so we’re not surprised by builders are looking to cater to these multi-generational households.

Nature is strange. We wish there was an explanation for the behavior of these crabs!

A vehicular collection: A horse-drawn bookmobile!?!?! Space-exploring nanocraft!?!?! A Ford that costs how much?!?!





New eBooks – April 2016

NAR members and Association staff can borrow up to six electronic books, digital audios and/or videos at no cost, through the Virtual Library eBooks Collection.

Members can also borrow up to three books for 30 days from the Library Catalog for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Central at 800.874.6500 for assistance.

millennialsWorking with Millennials
by Marc Robertson

This book directly addresses the issues and problems that leaders face in today’s business environment―and provides tangible and usable techniques to overcome these challenges.

• Offers information that benefits both managers of Millennial employees and Millennials themselves
• Provides proven techniques for overcoming the issues confronting managers and leaders―strategies that have worked successfully in the real world
• Presents case studies that document specific management and leadership issues or show how techniques or skills were applied to resolve the situation
• Teaches humanistic leadership and the benefit of valuing people
• Trains new managers on the leadership skills needed to instill the confidence that will enable them to immediately earn the trust and respect of their teams

snapSnap: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language & Charisma
by Patti Wood

From business meetings to social events to first dates to job interviews, we all encounter new people every day. Our ability to read body cues and convey the right first impression drives the success and quality of our personal and professional lives. Body language expert Patti Wood, a sought-after consultant and speaker to Fortune 500 companies, helps businesses and individuals stand out, create profitable relationships, and thrive in competitive circumstances. Now she brings that knowledge to our daily lives, offering practical and proven guidance on accurately interpreting body cues and creating impressions both in person and digitally.

downsizingDownsizing the Family Home
by Marni Jameson and Mark Brunetz

It’s a rite of passage almost no one will escape: the difficult, emotional journey of downsizing your or your aging parents’ home. Here, nationally syndicated home columnist Marni Jameson sensitively guides readers through the process, from opening that first closet, to sorting through a lifetime’s worth of possessions, to selling the homestead itself. Using her own personal journey as a basis, she helps you figure out a strategy and create a mindset to accomplish the task quickly, respectfully, rewardingly—and, in the best of situations, even memorably. Throughout, she combines her been-there experience with insights from national experts—antiques appraisers, garage-sale gurus, professional organizers, and psychologists—to offer practical wisdom and heartwarming advice so you know with certainty what to keep, toss or sell.

trophyNot Everyone Gets a Trophy
by Bruce Tulgan

Adapt your management methods to harness Millennial potential. Not Everyone Gets a Trophy: How to Manage the Millennials provides employers with a workable game plan for turning Millennials into the stellar workforce they have the potential to be. The culmination of over two decades of research, this book provides employers with a practical framework for engaging, developing, and retaining the new generation of employees. This new revised and updated edition expands the discussion to include the new ‘second-wave’ Millennials, those Tulgan refers to as ‘Generation Z,’ and explores the ways in which these methods and tactics are becoming increasingly critical in the face of the profoundly changing global workforce.

dreamDream Home
by Jonathan Scott and Drew Scott

Jonathan and Drew Scott have taken HGTV by storm with their four hit shows, Property Brothers, Property Brothers at Home, Buying & Selling, and Brother vs. Brother. The talented duo’s good-natured rivalry, playful banter, and no-nonsense strategies have earned the popular twins millions of devoted fans who have been anxiously waiting for a Scott Brothers book. Dream Home is a comprehensive source, covering the ins and outs of buying, selling, and renovating a house, with hundreds of full-color photos throughout. The brothers cover numerous topics including the hidden costs of moving, savvy negotiating tactics, and determining your home must-haves. Other handy features include a calendar of key dates for finding the best deals on home products and a cheat sheet of worth-it fix-its. Look inside for a wealth of information on attaining what you want—on time and on budget. Dream Home also includes all the tips and tricks you won’t see on TV, making it a must-have resource not just for fans but for any current or aspiring homeowner.

linkLink Out
by Leslie Grossman

Proven networking strategies to achieve lifetime professional success. In today’s competitive market, the typical ways of communicating don’t serve the purpose of building strong, long-term connections. We need to build collaborative relationships that are memorable and influence others to aid in achieving our goals. What is the first step to connecting with the right person? It’s not simply passing along a business card or rattling on about yourself, it is listening to what to the other person has to say. Link Out is filled with strategies that can turn strangers into connections that can change your career or business. Link Out delivers an entourage of people willing and eager to make introductions, connections, and referrals–propelling one’s resume or business to the top of the heap.

actsOutrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions
by Gloria Steinem

A bestselling first collection of humorous and insightful essays by a luminary of the women’s liberation movement. These essays from Gloria Steinem’s first three decades of work offer a portrait of a woman who was not only one of the savviest leaders of the women’s liberation movement, but also a profoundly humane thinker with a wide-ranging intellect and irresistible wit. In “If Men Could Menstruate,” Steinem engages readers in a flight of imagination as incisive as it is hilarious. She offers first-person journalism in her underground exposé “I Was a Playboy Bunny,” provides heartbreaking memoir in the story of her mother’s struggles in “Ruth’s Song,” and stakes important positions in feminist theory in “Erotica vs. Pornography.” This is Steinem at her most provocative—and most compassionate.