Foreclosure activity will return to normal this year

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The housing market is on the verge of shedding the escalated levels of foreclosure activity that have plagued it for close to a decade.

Foreclosure activity fell in February to its lowest level since July 2006, and should return to — or even dip below — historic norms this year, said Daren Blomquist, vice president at data aggregator RealtyTrac.

The eight-and-a-half year low in foreclosure activity marks a significant milestone for the housing market, given that the housing bubble peaked in August 2006, Blomquist said.

He ...

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AWA, access without authorization: Hacking and what it means to real estate

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As you learned in real estate school, fiduciary duty is the obligation you have to act in the best interest of your client at all times and to protect your client as well as your client’s vital information from the bad guys. There are a lot of bad guys.

According to a Gallup poll, 27 percent of Americans said that their credit card information had been stolen at least one time during the past year, and 11 percent said that their ...

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The agent collector model of business and how it hurts real estate agents

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Exploring various business models for real estate brokerages makes me realize how broken some of the brokerages are. The focus isn’t on real estate clients; it is on how many leads can be captured and how many agents can be collected.

To begin with, real estate companies do not exist just to make a profit; there is a little more to it than that. Real estate companies are about having a real estate broker because in most if not all states ...

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Hatchbuck is the marketing automation utility for smaller agencies

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Have suggestions for products that you’d like to see reviewed by our real estate technology expert? Email Craig Rowe.

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The pitch

In my effort to reach out into corners of the technology space that may appear dark or unreachable to real estate agents, I was referred to the oddly named but sleekly designed sales and marketing software called

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Ben Caballero: ‘Even if it’s a bad movie, I tend to watch it to the end’

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Inman is interviewing the top producers in real estate for this new profile series. Here’s Ben Caballero of HomesUSA.com.

Describe your job — where are you located, what types of properties do you work with, what types of clients do you work with?

I’m in Dallas but work with volume home builders in Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio.

Where did you start?

In Dallas, and I’ve lived in Dallas my entire business career.

Did you imagine when ...

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6 ways real estate brokers can recruit like a tech startup

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In the battle for top real estate talent, a healthy commission split and great training simply aren’t enough.

As a real-estate-agent-turned-tech-entrepreneur, I’ve noticed some surprising parallels between recruiting software engineers and attracting real estate agents — both equally crowded and competitive industries. It all comes down to what Seth Godin, award-winning author, marketer and entrepreneur, said in “Linchpin,” which is that people want to feel indispensable.

At RealScout, hiring is a company-wide project. All team members are responsible for contributing to the story ...

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Get personal and prove you are delivering services and value

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Drip marketing campaigns have their place, but real estate agents also need to build legitimate relationships with consumers by responding to their inquiries more personally and demonstrating that they are “somebody who actually cares and is right there,” says Frederick Herot, vice president of marketing for realtor.com operator Move Inc. As for brokers, Herot says they “should not be ashamed or abashed that they’re in there making a lot of money,” if they can show they are delivering lots of ...

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Zillow Group’s NYC portal ties agent ads to buildings

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New York City agents can now advertise themselves as “Building Experts” for 250 buildings in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens on Zillow Group’s Big Apple-focused portal StreetEasy.

Instead of paying for ad impressions by ZIP code, as they do on Zillow and many other portals, agents pay to be one of up to three real estate pros who show up on a building’s detail page on StreetEasy.

Only those agents who have recently completed deals in a building can pay to show up as ...

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Clear Solar Panels, Rotating Blades for Umbrellas and A Haystack That Helps You Make Contacts

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In this Five for Wednesday, we’ll look at where memories live, solar panels that are clear as glass and an umbrella that’s a rotating blade.

  1. FastCo Design wrote about haptic feedback and what it means to the wearable industry. They highlight a company called Immersion and discuss how their platform could mean specific alerts for specific apps. Maybe when an important phone call comes in, there’s a sensation ...
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