According to the IRS, An Opportunity Zone is an economically-distressed community where new investments, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment. Localities qualify as Opportunity Zones if they have been nominated for that designation by the state and that nomination has been certified by the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury through his/her delegation of authority to the Internal Revenue Service. These zones were created relatively recently, by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on December 22, 2017, and now cover all 50 states. The intended benefit: to …

Crowdfunding has become the great equalizer; opening up the opportunity for smaller investors to get a piece of real estate without regard to location or degree of wealth. Crowdfunding has grown by leaps and bounds thanks to advances in technology and changes in the law (the passing of Title IV of the JOBS Act that gives more power to the non-accredited investor). With crowdfunding, money can be raised not only through friends and family but through Internet platforms and social media. Before 2015, an investor’s net worth or annual income …

Technology and the digital age are evolving the real estate industry by leaps and bounds, but it seems like certain old-school traditions remain sturdily in place. According to a recent Inman study, fewer than 1 in 10 homebuyers and sellers found their agents through a website in 2017. Astoundingly, that stat is similar to the numbers of a decade ago. The Inman survey, in collaboration with The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) found that buyers and sellers were far more likely to find agents through recommendations and referrals: friends, neighbors …

Reverse mortgages are among the most misunderstood processes in real estate; your clients should be sure to understand its pros and cons before making any final decisions. Essentially, a reverse mortgage allows homeowners over age 62 to sell their home without having to leave it. Typically, you sell your home to a reverse-mortgage lender for a choice of one sum, an income stream or a credit line. All the while, you are allowed to remain in your home until you die, move on (for example, to a nursing home), or …

For many real estate agents, the buying and selling of real estate involving celebrities can be a mixed blessing. A celebrity connected to a property could bring more attention to the listing and a possible career boost to the agent (think of cable shows like Million Dollar Listing). However, it can also cause distraction, as fans who keep track of every celebrity move could get in the way of — or even ruin — an otherwise traditional transaction. “Listing agents are wise to use and leverage any selling power they …

If your sales approach is old-school, you may have to throw out almost everything you were originally taught about the value of cold calling. According to a recent study by the Keller Research Center at Baylor University, only one percent of cold calls ultimately generate appointments. The Harvard Business review found that cold calling is ineffective 90 percent of the time, and less than 2 percent of cold calls ever result in a meeting. Oracle has done the math: if each meeting results in a final sale only 25 percent …

Micro-unit apartments pack a wallop: a kitchen, bathroom, closets, and other typical features fused into a unit of about 200 to 400 square feet.  What keeps tenants from losing their minds: usually high ceilings and large windows, to create an illusion of space. What saves most tenants from a terminal case of claustrophobia: common rooms, where tenants — especially younger ones who are really taking to this lifestyle — can relax and interact with other residents. Other pluses are usually location, location, location, and reasonable rents. Micro units are smaller …

For an industry that was once notorious for being slow to change, technology is seeping into every nook and cranny of real estate. Artificial intelligence, bitcoin cryptocurrency, and Millennials as homebuyers have given the business a culture shock. Real estate professionals are scrambling — at different degrees — to adjust to the changes. Over 70 percent of homebuyers now start their home shopping online, and more than half of house tours are booked through a website. Although artificial intelligence (AI) can sound intimidating to some, it’s actually making agents’ jobs …

What retail apocalypse? The pop-up store trend, in which stores are here today and gone tomorrow (on purpose), is proving to be a powerful way to study customers, work out new business models, appeal to Millennials and build a brand. Pop-ups can be described as anything from a kiosk or booth in a mall or marketplace to a store within a store. They are generally perceived as a temporary lease in a vacant space. Pop-ups require less investment, and can get business instantly connected to foot traffic. They also make …

A recent Coldwell Banker survey found that 72 percent of Millennials (those born between 1981 and 1997) would be willing to pay $1,500 more for a home that was “smart.” In fact, 42 percent of those surveyed would be willing to pay as much as $3,000 more. Smart devices include network-connected security and monitoring devices, sensors, system controllers, lighting, power, and appliances. Forbes reports that 36 percent of home sales are now made to Millennials, who are now starting families. This is in contrast to the popular perception that Millennials …