Today's Headlines - Realty Times
Posted On Tuesday, 11 July 2023 10:40 Written by
Posted On Monday, 10 July 2023 15:00 Written by

NEW CFA REPORT DOCUMENTS THE COSTS TO THE INDUSTRY AND CONSUMERS

Today the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) is releasing a new report – “A Surfeit of Real Estate Agents: Industry and Consumer Impacts” – that uses industry sources to document the costs to industry and to consumers of too many residential real estate agents.  More than 1.5 million residential agents (including brokers) compete for home sales usually totaling 5 to 6 million annually. 

Those costs include: 

  • economic inefficiencies including an inordinate time spent by agents finding clients,
  • relatively low incomes of many full-time agents,
  • frustration by these agents and by many consumers who must deal with inexperienced agents,
  • reinforcement of relatively high and uniform commission rates, and
  • damage to the reputation of the industry.

“A large majority of practicing real estate agents have recently received their license or work part-time,” said Stephen Brobeck, a senior fellow at CFA.  “These agents usually charge the same commission rates as experienced, full-time agents yet in general offer worse service and deprive experienced agents of needed clients.”

In examining home sales in three cities – Jacksonville (FL), Minneapolis (MN), and Albuquerque (NM) – the study found that marginal agents (with five or fewer sales a year) received an estimated 25-30 percent of commission income.  According to data collected by the industry from Realtors in 2021:

  • the median net income of all sales agents was $25,000,
  • the median net income of sales agents with less than two years experience was $7,800, and,
  • the median net income of all brokers and associate brokers was $57,100.

The report documents complaints by many experienced, full-time agents of the incompetence and/or inattention of other agents that also harm consumers.  And it emphasizes that because of the “surfeit of agents,” real estate agents and brokers feel financial and/or peer pressure to keep commission rates relatively high. 

“Without 5-6 percent rates, even fewer agents would survive financially in today’s marketplace,” said CFA’s Brobeck.  “Ironically, relatively high rates attract new entrants into the industry, increasing competition for clients and reducing individual income for all.”

The report raises the question of whether the industry should make greater efforts to ensure the competence and commitment of new agents.  Such efforts could include more stringent entry requirements and required mentoring of new agents.  A future CFA report will address in depth these two issues.

To help ensure selection of a competent, conscientious agent, CFA recommends not only consulting friends and family but also reviewing information about agents on Zillow and Realtor.com.  CFA’s Brobeck said: “Look especially for information on recent sales experience and customer comments that are detailed and positive.”

Posted On Monday, 10 July 2023 10:22 Written by
Posted On Monday, 10 July 2023 09:06 Written by
Posted On Sunday, 09 July 2023 12:58 Written by

The Cape Coral metro area has more than made up for the plunge in new listings caused by the storm

Listings of homes for sale in the Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL metropolitan area have recovered after plunging in the wake of Hurricane Ian last fall, and sales have begun to bounce back, according to a new report from Redfin (www.redfin.com), the technology-powered real estate brokerage.

In the two months after the devastating September 2022 storm, there were 900 fewer new listings in Cape Coral-Fort Myers than there would have been had the storm not hit, according to Redfin projections. But in the six months after that, there were 1,314 more new listings than projected, more than offsetting the shortfall. To put it another way, the metro had gained 415 more new listings than it had lost by early May. The Cape Coral-Fort Myers metro area will be referred to as “Cape Coral” for the remainder of this press release.

New listings are likely outperforming expectations due to a backlog created by the storm; homeowners who paused their selling plans or delisted their properties in the wake of Hurricane Ian are now putting their homes on the market. There are likely other homeowners who didn’t intend to sell before the storm but are now moving because their home was damaged and/or they want to live in a safer area.

“Intense storms are becoming more frequent in Florida due to climate change, but homebuyers are still moving to the Sunshine State in search of warm weather and relatively affordable home prices,” said Redfin Senior Economist Sheharyar Bokhari. “But as homebuyers have moved into Florida, insurers have moved out, leaving homeowners with fewer and more expensive coverage options. Ultimately, lower-income residents may be pushed out of the riskiest areas due to rising insurance and rebuilding costs. Those who can afford to remain will likely see their home values appreciate at a slower clip as the dangers of climate change become impossible to ignore.”

Insurers aren’t just leaving flood-prone areas; State Farm and Allstate recently announced they will stop issuing new homeowner’s insurance policies in California due to climate risk, citing increased exposure to catastrophes including wildfires.

The analysis focuses on home listings, but it’s worth noting that scores of vacant plots have also hit the market in Cape Coral after the homes atop many of those lots were destroyed. There were 6,167 land listings in Cape Coral as of June 16—comparable with the number of home listings (6,619). Some don’t mention the impact of the storm or the potential for future natural disasters. Other listings do mention Hurricane Ian, and tout the opportunities for builders and homebuyers despite continued storm risk.

While some people who moved to Florida during the pandemic are leaving, new out-of-staters continue to move in, which is incentivizing homebuilders in Cape Coral to keep building, according to local Redfin Premier real estate agent Isabel Arias-Squires.

Florida has doled out 80,000 residential building permits so far this year—more than any other state but Texas. Arias-Squires noted that new-construction homes in Florida have the advantage of being built under the most recent building codes, providing better resistance against natural disasters

Sales Are Bouncing Back, But Haven’t Fully Recovered

In the three months after Hurricane Ian, there were 723 fewer home sales in Cape Coral than there would have been had the storm not hit, according to Redfin projections. In the following five months, there were 538 more sales than projected. That meant that by early May, the sales shortfall had shrunk from 723 to 185.

The fact that home sales in Cape Coral have started to recover indicates that many homebuyers continue to prioritize waterfront views, relatively affordable home prices and lower taxes above climate concerns.

Cape Coral is the seventh most popular migration destination for homebuyers, according to Redfin’s latest ranking. Four other Florida metros—Miami, Tampa, Orlando and North Port—are also in the top 10 as the Sunshine State attracts house hunters from New York, Chicago and other major metros.

Hurricane Ian Had No Major Impact on Home Prices

“The storm’s effect on prices was likely muted because at first, new listings fell, which pressured prices to rise due to a shortage of homes for sale. But new listings then more than recovered, which pressured prices to fall because there was more supply than usual,” Bokhari said. “In the end, the two effects canceled each other out.”

To read the full report, including charts and methodology, please visit: https://www.redfin.com/news/hurricane-ian-housing-lookback-2023

Posted On Sunday, 09 July 2023 06:39 Written by
Posted On Sunday, 09 July 2023 04:56 Written by
Posted On Thursday, 24 August 2023 00:00 Written by
Posted On Thursday, 17 August 2023 00:00 Written by
Posted On Thursday, 10 August 2023 00:00 Written by
Posted On Thursday, 03 August 2023 00:00 Written by
Posted On Thursday, 27 July 2023 00:00 Written by
Posted On Thursday, 20 July 2023 00:00 Written by
Posted On Thursday, 13 July 2023 00:00 Written by

The education industry and teaching are on the precipice of major transformation due to the acceleration of all kinds of new technologies, predominantly artificial intelligence (AI). Education is no longer just a human endeavor, and both teachers and prominent institutions and organizations in the field of education must adapt and adjust as education and technology (also known as EdTech) combine to develop a new, more efficient way of learning.

As you know, much of my teaching revolves around my Hard Trend Methodology and anticipatory thinking, differentiating between Hard Trends and Soft Trends to identify and embrace disruption before it occurs. Hard Trends are those that are future certainties that will happen, while Soft Trends are future possibilities that can be influenced and changed.

Before we dive into where the world of education is heading, I want to remind everyone that the world has shifted from a time of rapid change to a time of transformation. Change always comes to us from the outside in, forcing us to react, manage crises, put out fires. In contrast, transformation comes from the inside out, created by you and your team.

When something comes from the inside out, you have far more control in shaping your future, but this also takes a positive Futureview as well.

Hard Trends in Education and Futureview

The purpose of my Hard Trend Methodology coupled with having a positive Futureview is to predict disruption before it disrupts, thus turning disruption into a choice. We cannot simply predict the future, but we must actively shape it.

With regard to EdTech and specifically AI applications, this means actively shaping the future of education in anticipatory fashion instead of just having a wait-and-see attitude about the future and the impact said technology will have on educators and the industry. As new applications in the EdTech space arise, anticipatory thinking helps to pre-solve many problems these applications will bring and shed light on what disruptions will result.

So, what are some of the more notable Hard Trends approaching the education industry? AI software, especially the likes of ChatGPT, is getting more powerful each day and will only continue to do so. The days of writing something from scratch are starting to look much different, and while this may help students springboard into a more riveting term paper, teachers and administrators alike are struggling to keep up, and in many cases, fearing and rejecting such a profound transformation.

Since we know AI in general is a Hard Trend future certainty that is not going away, Anticipatory educators and administrators can and should leverage this knowledge, pre-solve the problems that already stem from AI in education (I can think of one major one — plagiarism!), and in turn, realign their organization’s Futureview to one that adapts and grows with this application. After all, if not ChatGPT, there will be something else — that is how Hard Trends work!

The Symbiotic Relationship of AI and Teaching 

In the early 1980s, I made a prediction that we were going to automate and humanize education for the first time in history. In more recent years, this prediction has already become a reality. But what does this mean?

In short, this means that we can automate the parts of education that are not necessary for humans to teach so they can focus more intently on the parts of education that cannot be automated.

There are two levels of learning that humans are capable of, also known as the cognitive domain. The lower level of the cognitive domain involves recall, information observation, and simple principles, while the higher level involves applying, analyzing, evaluating, synthesizing, and creating.

In years past, educators have been stuck teaching the lowest levels of the cognitive domain and seldom have time to reach those higher levels. Even educators themselves become discouraged in doing so, especially since they know that human beings are far more capable of deeper, more critical thinking.

With the rise of applications in EdTech, educators can turn over the lower level of learning to automation, returning to the educators more time and opportunity to teach the higher level of the cognitive domain. What this then does is simultaneously prepare a student of any age for the ever-changing world of disruptive digital technology while helping them realize how to work with tech as opposed to against it, avoiding future disruptions in their lives.

For instance, teaching a child to multiply should really be an interactive, self-diagnostic system using gamification and automation. While something like a calculator can figure out the answer to what a simple multiplication equation is, the educator can then explain in more hands-on, human ways how the equation applies to their everyday life. This unlocks tremendous opportunity in incorporating those principles of the higher cognitive domain, and in turn, educators have now worked with EdTech as opposed to resisting it.

Indisputably, the future of education is an environment of blended learning between human beings and technology, using each in the best way to accelerate learning. Instead of thinking about technology and education as completely separate, it is becoming an increasingly symbiotic relationship.

Look for part 2 of this blog, where I explore the specific competencies that AI applications in the EdTech space cannot master quite like humans, and I look to learn how to use an anticipatory mindset when doubling down on these competencies as an educator or administrator in the education sector!

Posted On Tuesday, 11 July 2023 00:00 Written by
Posted On Monday, 10 July 2023 00:00 Written by

Agent Resource

Before You List

Realty Times

From buying and selling advice for consumers to money-making tips for Agents, our content, updated daily, has made Realty Times® a must-read, and see, for anyone involved in Real Estate.