Ohio Association of Realtors elects Greg Hrabcak as president



Greg Hrabcak OAR Officer2012

Greg Hrabcak is the new president of the Ohio Association of Realtors.









Brian R. Ball
Staff reporter- Columbus Business First

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Members of the Ohio Association of Realtors have elected HER Commercial Real Estate Services agent Greg Hrabcak as its 2015 president.

The OAR late last week announced the 30-year real estate veteran got the formal nod during the trade association’s annual conference. He will serve as president for three years.

Hrabcak takes the post after leading several Columbus real estate organizations, including Columbus Realtors in 2008 and the Columbus Commercial Industrial Investment Realtors in 1993.

On the state level, Hrabcak had served as an OAR district vice president in 2011-2012 as well as an OAR director since 1999. He has chaired various OAR committees.

“I have a passion for what I do,” Hrabcak told me. “A lot of it is advocacy.”

Hrabcak has served in posts for the National Association of Realtors and now serves as chairman of the group’s commercial real estate research subcommittee.

Recurring issues in the real estate industry include protecting the deductibility of mortgage interest costs for homeowners and the retention of capital gains tax deferrals on the reinvestment of proceeds from investment property sales.

“Changes in those,” Hrabcak told me, “would affect real estate forever.”

He said the Ohio Association of Realtors represents 27,000 agents statewide and 48 regional boards.

“I believe in what we stand for and what we do,” Hrabcak said. “Together our voice is heard.”

Brian R. Ball covers commercial real estate and development for Columbus Business First.




Commercial Real Estate and Development Conference will focus on major projects

RESAAS Launches a Marketplace of Real Estate Products & Services

VANCOUVER, BC–(Marketwired – September 15, 2014) – RESAAS Services Inc. (CSE:RSS), The Real Estate Social Network™, announced today the official launch of the RESAAS Marketplace – a collection of leading real estate products and services offered to all RESAAS users to purchase at a discounted price.

RESAAS empowers real estate agents to generate more business and increase their depth of knowledge as industry professionals. Part of this includes helping agents know which products top-producing agents are using and how these products can help to benefit their business. RESAAS has partnered with a group of leading real estate vendors who are forward-thinking and have respected products or services in the industry that will help RESAAS users ultimately generate more business.

“We’ve seen an increasing trend of knowledge sharing occurring between agents inside RESAAS,” said Tom Rossiter, President at RESAAS. “Our goal with Marketplace is to provide a succinct list of superior tools, products and services that we have consistently heard positive feedback about from top-producing agents. Our position in the industry has allowed us to form partnerships with a collection of great companies and offer their most relevant products at a discounted rate to RESAAS users.”

With the launch of Marketplace, RESAAS has announced partnerships with a variety of leading companies servicing the real estate industry including the best-selling business laptop supplier Lenovo, CRM provider Contactually, the leader for online real estate transactions Dotloop, video-email company BombBomb, world-renowned social dashboard Hootsuite, and DocuSign®, The Global Standard for Digital Transaction Management™, offering industry-leading eSignature technology and National Association of REALTORS® Official and Exclusive provider under the REALTOR Benefits® Program, as well as several others. Through Marketplace, RESAAS offers products and services for a wide variety of categories, including Client Relationship Management, e-signature Platforms, Lead Generation, Transaction Management, and Email Marketing. Click here to see a current list of the Marketplace Partners.

BombBomb, the award winning Colorado-based video-by-email company that has received widespread critical acclaim, was one of the first to form an alliance with RESAAS. BombBomb’s Chief Marketing Officer, Ethan Beute, says: “Agents using RESAAS clearly know the value of people, and relationships, and the power of the network. BombBomb was designed to help you build relationships and ultimately grow your business. Being a Marketplace partner will be a great new sales channel for us, and help us generate awareness amongst agents that haven’t yet discovered our company and the complete benefits we provide our customers.”

Another partner participating in the Marketplace for the official launch is Dotloop, regarded by many agents on RESAAS as the go-to transaction management solution. “We love what RESAAS is doing, and are excited to take this initial step in our relationship,” said Alex Allison, Dotloop’s Director of Business Development. “We strive to partner with leaders in the industry who are focused on helping people work and RESAAS is certainly doing just that.”

Savings on all services offered through Marketplace are typically between 10% and 25%, and are redeemable instantly through the Marketplace for all registered RESAAS users.

“The backbone of a successful real estate business is the professional’s ability to build strong relationships with their top prospects and clients,” said Brian Pesin, Senior Marketing Manager at Contactually. “It’s clear that RESAAS’ team and their customers value this important tenant of business, and we are thrilled to partner with them for this exciting new endeavor.”

“The RESAAS Marketplace will be hugely beneficial to all RESAAS users,” said Danielle Sissons, VP of Communications at RESAAS. “In addition, this will be a great wholesale channel of sales for all of our Marketplace partners.”

About RESAAS SERVICES INC.
RESAAS is an Enterprise Social and Global Referral Network for licensed Real Estate Agents, REALTORS®, Brokers, Franchises and Associations. RESAAS’ powerful reblasts® engine automatically converts real estate activity into social marketable content, which is also pushed out to other social networks, to generate leads. Visit www.resaas.com.

The CSE has not reviewed, approved or disapproved the content of this press release.

Forward-Looking Information:
This press release and the company’s website referenced herein may include ‘forward-looking information’ within the meaning of Canadian securities legislation, concerning the company’s technology platform. Forward-looking information is based on certain key expectations and assumptions made by RESAAS’ management, including future plans for the design and development of the company’s technology platform. Although RESAAS believes that the expectations and assumptions on which such forward-looking information is based are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on the forward-looking information because RESAAS can give no assurance that they will prove to be correct. Forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made as of the date of this press release. RESAAS disclaims any intent or obligation to update publicly any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise, other than as required by applicable securities laws.

Texas among three states with home prices poised to rise most

Texas and Florida have more in common than the Gulf Coast.

The median home price in both states, along with Hawaii, is expected to jump by more than 5 percent in the next 12 months, according to a survey of members of the National Association of Realtors.

Overall, the Realtors anticipated a modest price increase of 3.4 percent across the U.S. over the next 12 months, according to the Realtors Confidence Index report. 

Concerns about difficult in obtaining mortgages and a weak job recovery appeared to contribute to the modest price expectations nationally, the report said. Tight inventory and the strong growth in Texas cities, meanwhile, contributed to the optimistic outlook.

Prices are up in Houston, with the average list price reaching $282,260 in August, according to the recent Houston Association of Realtors report. The list price represents a 6 percent gain compared with a year earlier.

The map shows the median expected price change in the next 12 months by state of
Realtor respondents in the May – July 2014 surveys.

(National Association of Realtors)

(National Association of Realtors)

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Realtors issue safety tips for folks who are selling a home

Each year in September, the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors reminds members to keep Realtor safety foremost in everyone’s minds. Members’ clients, particularly sellers, face some dangers in allowing strangers into their homes during a showing or open house.

“We are comfortable with our surroundings and can overlook items that can pose a safety or security issue when we open our doors to strangers,” said David Tonna, president of the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors. “During showings or open houses, remember that strangers will be walking through your home. Take the necessary steps to ensure that your open house will be successful and that your family and your home will be safe.”

Below is valuable advice from the local Realtor association and the National Association of Realtors that can help sellers learn to protect themselves against crime:

• Hire a licensed, reputable real estate agent. Check with the state to make sure the agent is properly licensed and inquire with the Better Business Bureau to see if there have been any complaints filed.

“People use the terms Realtor and real estate agent interchangeably, but they are not the same. Although both are licensed to sell real estate, a Realtor is a member of the National Association of Realtors and must subscribe to the Realtor code of ethics. As such, a Realtor is held to an even higher standard of conduct than other real estate professionals,” explains Tonna.

• Remove spare keys, credit cards, jewelry, crystal, furs and other valuables from the home or lock them away during showings. This includes firearms, important art and other collections.

• Remove prescription drugs. Tonna indicates there have been reports of drug abusers posing as home buyers and using open houses to raid medicine cabinets and night stands in search of drugs. “We urge homeowners to secure their prescription drugs properly,” stresses Tonna.

• Remove family photos, calendars of events, addresses and anything labeled with names of your children or their schools, including personalized artwork, banners or blankets. “While some people may think family photos make a home cozy, it is always best to err on the side of caution and not reveal any information about your children or the school they attend,” advises Tonna.

• The same is true about leaving personal information like mail or bills out in the open where anyone can see it. Lock down your computer and laptop and other expensive, easy-to-pocket electronics, like iPods, before your showing.

• Do not to show your home by yourself. Not all agents, buyers and sellers are who they say they are. Predators come in all shapes and sizes. Do not to talk to other agents or buyers, and to refer all inquiries to your agent.

• Be responsible for your pets. If possible, remove animals during showings. Buyers and agents are sometimes attacked, and when this unfortunate situation happens, the owner will be held liable.

• While your Realtor will take all safety precautions when leaving your home, you should immediately verify that all doors and windows are locked and all valuables accounted for. Thieves commonly use open houses to scout for valuables and possible points of entry, then return after the agent leaves.

“Majority of the people who tour your home will be legitimate buyers who are in the market to purchase a home, but by taking these precautions, you will make the process uneventful and stress free,” says Tonna.

Visit Realtor.org/Safety for more safety tips.

Information is presented by the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors at silvar.org. Contact rmeily@silvar.org.

More singles see value in mortgage payment

Despite hurdles, young unmarrieds make inroad in homeownership ranks




Steve Ganley, 25, couldn’t qualify for some credit cards, but he did qualify for a 30-year, $150,000 mortgage at 3.99 percent through the Federal Housing Authority for his three-bedroom suburban home.
BLOCK NEWS ALLIANCE/JOHN HELLER

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PITTSBURGH — Steven Ganley, 25, was lucky enough to earn his master’s degree in accounting from Duquesne University last year without piling up any debt. In the year after he graduated, he landed a full-time job as a staff accountant at a downtown Pittsburgh firm, lived with his parents in a suburb, and banked money each month as though he were paying rent.

Despite his clean balance sheet and careful money management, several credit-card companies turned him down. Yet he recently qualified for a 30-year mortgage at 3.99 percent through the Federal Housing Authority.

“I believe I have the world record for not establishing any credit and still being able to get a home loan,” said Mr. Ganley, who closed on a $150,000 three-bedroom, suburban home last month, which he purchased with a 5 percent down payment.

Married couples with children continue to be the leading demographic for the single-family, home-buying market across the nation.

But some singles, especially younger ones, recognize that a mortgage payment on a house often can be the same or less than what they would spend on rent.

The barriers to homeownership that many in their 20s and 30s face — higher unemployment, lower wages, and student debt — have made it less likely for people in that age group to be owners than in previous generations.

Tighter lending standards also have been a factor in a slight decline in single homebuyers, according to the National Association of Realtors in Washington.

For as long as the Realtors group has been tracking data on married couples and single buyers — since 1981 — the percentage of single home buyers has historically hovered around 20 percent to 25 percent. It fell nationally from 28 percent in 2011 to 25 percent in 2013, according to NAR.

“One of the things we have seen is that single men home buyers are about half the share of single female home buyers,” said Jessica Lautz, director of member and consumer research for the National Association of Realtors. “Single females make up the largest share of single buyers. Single female homebuyers are second only to married couples.”

Single home buyers come to the market from all walks of life, and for different reasons that often extend beyond the financial ones.

Some want an investment that will pay off down the road, while others are looking for a place to live that suits their lifestyle.

After renting for years, Christa Vattimo, 31, managed to overcome the down-payment hurdle by borrowing money from her company retirement savings account at PNC Bank, where she works as a loan analyst. She also obtained a mortgage through PNC for a $97,000, three-bedroom brick home.

“I didn’t want to keep throwing money down the drain renting,” said Ms. Vattimo, a single mother of a 10-year-old son and a 1 ½-year-old daughter. “It was important to me to be a homeowner. I want to have equity in something.

“I was nervous that I’d get denied for a home loan being a single parent with money coming out of my salary for day care and child expenses. I could not be more proud of myself being a single parent and a homeowner. Being able to do that is extremely gratifying,” Ms. Vattimo said.

The Block New Alliance consists of The Blade and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Tim Grant is a reporter for the Post-Gazette.

Top Orlando Realtor exec resigns

The appointed head of Orlando’s leading real estate association resigned effective immediately on Friday and was replaced on an interim basis by another executive at the group, according to a media release.

Jacque Stanly has been appointed interim executive vice president of Orlando Regional Realtor Association. Stanly served as the organization’s senior vice president and “will provide a continuity of leadership and stability for members and staff while the ORRA Board of Directors undertakes its search for the association’s next staff leader,” according to a statement.

Michael Kidd joined the Orlando Regional Realtor Association as executive vice president in 2010 after serving as executive director of Self Storage Association and vice president of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties. He also served as director of commercial finance at the National Association of Realtors.

The association’s release on Friday stated he resigned “to pursue other interests.” The group did not provide further details.

mshanklin@tribune.com or 407-420-5538

Copyright © 2014, Orlando Sentinel

NAR report: Pending home sales up in nearly all regions – The

Pending home sales mostly increased across the country during the month of July, with all regions except for the Midwest experiencing contract signing gains.

The National Association of Realtors’ Pending Home Sales Index, which is based on pending sales of existing homes, hit 105.9 in July, up from 102.5 in June. This marks the third consecutive month that the index is above 100, a score that is considered to be the average level of contract activity.

Regionally, the Northeast saw the biggest gains in pending home sales, with a 6.2 percent jump from 83 in June to 89.2 in July. The South experienced a 4.2 percent increase to an index of 119, while the West’s index rose 4 percent to 99.5 in July.

The overall increase in pending home sales can be contributed to favorable housing conditions, according to NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

Dave Maltese, president of the Stark County Association of Realtors, cited lower interest rates, moderate price growth and an increase in housing inventory as reasons for the PHSI’s climb.

“The increase in the number of new and existing homes for sale is creating less competition,” he said, “and is giving prospective buyers more time to review their options before submitting an offer.”

The improvement of the job market is also helping family finances and giving more people confidence to enter the housing market.

The Stark County Association of Realtors serves as the voice for real estate in Stark and Carroll counties. For more information, or for a complete listing of Realtor professionals and affiliate members, visit www.starkrealtors.com.

Top Orlando Realtor exec resigns

The appointed head of Orlando’s leading real estate association resigned effective immediately on Friday and was replaced on an interim basis by another executive at the group, according to a media release.

Jacque Stanly has been appointed interim executive vice president of Orlando Regional Realtor Association. Stanly served as the organization’s senior vice president and “will provide a continuity of leadership and stability for members and staff while the ORRA Board of Directors undertakes its search for the association’s next staff leader,” according to a statement.

Michael Kidd joined the Orlando Regional Realtor Association as executive vice president in 2010 after serving as executive director of Self Storage Association and vice president of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties. He also served as director of commercial finance at the National Association of Realtors.

The association’s release on Friday stated he resigned “to pursue other interests.” The group did not provide further details.

mshanklin@tribune.com or 407-420-5538

Copyright © 2014, Orlando Sentinel

Why consumers are more bearish on house prices than the pros

Fannie Mae National Housing Survey: August 2014 key takeaways (Part 3 of 4)

(Continued from Part 2)

Pros are more bullish on house prices

In the latest survey, consumers expect home prices to increase by 2.1% over the next 12 months. This is down 20 basis points month-over-month and down 130 basis points year-over-year. The 3.4% expected home price appreciation a year ago met with low double-digit returns in most indices—whether they’re the Federal Housing Finance Agency (or FHFA) Home Price Index or Case-Shiller.

Unfortunately, Fannie Mae wasn’t conducting these surveys during the go-go days of the housing bubble. It would have been very interesting to see what people thought home prices would do. Interestingly, even as prices were falling, consumers were “calling the bottom” and expecting modest home price appreciation.

The 2.3% home price expectation is much lower than the 6%–7% forecast we’re seeing out of the National Association of Realtors and the mid single-digit forecast we’re seeing from most Wall Street professionals. Lingering sentiment from prior market moves is typical. Most people didn’t believe the declines early in the bear market. So we shouldn’t be surprised that people don’t believe we’re now in a bull market for homes.

Implications for homebuilders

At the end of the day, whether we want to admit it, a home is an investment. The bear market disabused people of the notion that home prices only go from the bottom left to the top right of the chart. As a result, many people began to believe that a home is simply a place to live and not an investment.

However, homebuilders like Lennar (LEN), PulteGroup (PHM), Toll Brothers (TOL), and D.R. Horton (DHI) need people to believe real estate is a sensible investment and that home price appreciation will continue.

Investors who are interested in trading the homebuilding sector should look at the SP SPDR Homebuilder ETF (XHB).

Continue to Part 4

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