7 Habits to Boost Business in 2018

The New Year is almost here, and no doubt you’ve thought long and hard about your company goals for 2018. But are they SMART goals (S-specific; M-measurable; A-achievable; R-realistic; T-timely)?

In order to realize your SMART goals, you’ll have to get into a healthy business routine. Here are seven habits to consistently practice every day to make 2018 the best year for you and your brokerage.

 

1. Praise your team for their efforts, not results. Everyone thrives on praise. Praise encourages, motivates, and inspires people to achieve greater heights. But how you praise people is key.

  • Praise your agents on their individual and group efforts. Never assume their talents or smarts are a given. Otherwise, they may think, “What if I don’t get a deal done next time? Maybe I’m not as smart as you think. Next time I might fail.”
  • Praising effort creates a work environment that values growth and improvement. Strive to create a culture where agents think anything is possible.
  • Regardless of whether a deal closes, provide encouragement such as, “I have total confidence in you.  I’ve never seen you give up. I know you’re going to get there.”

2. Be calm and unflappable, regardless of what happened before you walked in the door. You are the broker—the leader. Your mood sets the tone in the firm every day. Being calm enables you to sit in the driver’s seat and focus on your priorities to get things done. Calm brains are hardwired to perform.

3. Do not check your email in the morning. If there is an emergency, you’ll know or find out about it immediately. No one finds out about an emergency in an email.

  • Give your best, most productive hours of the day to your own goals, not someone else’s as stated in their email.
  • Set yourself up to act on an email, not react to it.
  • Do not allow your priorities and goals to be hijacked by an email.

4. Only do what’s important.

  • Complete your planned activities first, and ask yourself whether anything else is essential.
  • There is a direct correlation between your use of time and your output, which is driven entirely by hours spent on your planned activities.

5. Make any and all distractions go away.  Distractions are “culturally-generated ADD,” according to Ed Hallowell, former professor at Harvard Medical School and author of Driven to Distraction.

  • Change your environment by changing your behavior. For example, try working for an hour at home in the morning so that you won’t be interrupted every five minutes with a question or email.

6. Create a consistent routine. Routines work because they become automatic; you don’t have to think about them.

  • Apply the 8-2 rule: Of the 10 things you do each day, only two of them are really responsible for the success of your company. Figure out what those two things are and do them every day. Try to eliminate doing the other eight things.

7. Define tomorrow’s one or two priorities or goals the night before.

  • Make those goals SMART.
  • Write them down.
  • Take that list with you in the morning.

As long as you are clear about your SMART brokerage goals for 2018, these seven daily habits will help your firm—and you—make 2018 your best year yet.

Tax Bill Passes; Tough Work Still Ahead

The U.S. House and Senate have passed sweeping tax reform legislation that is expected to have a major impact on housing markets. The bill will go to President Donald Trump now that the House has passed the bill a second time to accommodate small, last-minute changes made in the Senate.

The bill is an improvement for homeowners when compared to earlier House and Senate versions, because it makes several changes NAR sought. However the structure of the bill continues to raise concerns, and NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall has said the association will look for legislative opportunities next year, as they arise, to improve the law.

 

In general, the bill lowers tax rates and almost doubles the standard deduction while making itemized deductions less attractive to use. The bill keeps the mortgage interest deduction in place, for both first and second homes, with a mortgage limit of $750,000 for each, down from $1 million. The bill also keeps deductions in place for state and local income taxes and property taxes, but limits the two deductions together to $10,000, an amount that will mostly hurt homeowners in higher-tax states like New Jersey, New York, and California.

The limitations on these and other deductions means many homeowners who itemize today will find it more attractive to take the newly increased standard deduction, although that deduction is less valuable than it initially appears because the bill also eliminates the personal and dependency exemptions.

“The new tax regime will fundamentally alter the benefits of homeownership by nullifying incentives for individuals and families while keeping those incentives in place for large institutional investors. That should concern any middle-class family looking to claim their piece of the American dream,” Mendenhall said.

In a win for REALTORS®, the bill keeps current law in place on the capital gains exemption on the sale of a home. The earlier versions of the bill would have made that exemption harder to take and added limits on higher-income households. In the end, those provisions were removed.

In a change that could affect many real estate professionals, the bill creates a 20 percent deduction for owners of pass-through entities whose income is taxed on the individual, rather than the corporate, side of the code. The deduction phases out after a certain income threshold is reached.

The bill keeps current law in place for many provisions of importance to commercial real estate, including 1031 tax-deferred exchanges.

Although the bill is improved compared to earlier versions, Mendenhall says REALTORS® will stay engaged and will seek to make further improvements for homeowners. “We still have some hard work ahead of us,” Mendenhall said. “Significant legislative initiatives often require fixes to address unintended consequences, and this bill is no exception.”

REALTOR® Magazine

Instant Reaction: November Housing Starts

The following is NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s reaction to the U.S. Commerce Department report on November housing starts:

“A welcoming trend is developing in the housing sector as builders are able to bring more supply to the market on a consistent basis. The latest monthly figure of near 1.3 million annualized housing starts is solid, and the growth is mostly coming both in the West and for single-family homes. 

There is still more room for improvement, as the latest figure is still not yet at the long-term 50-year average of producing 1.5 million units per year. If this rising trend continues, the worst of the supply shortage could soon end, which would help slow price appreciation in 2018. That would be a huge, welcoming relief for renters seeking to become homeowners.”   

November Sales Surprise to a Near 11-Year High; Contract Signings Also Rise

In what reflects the significant amount of pent-up demand in today’s housing market, existing-home sales surged in November to their strongest pace since December 2006. Good news was also found in November’s pending sales data. 

Whether it’s been weakening affordability, low supply or hurricanes, sales have been somewhat sluggish since the summer. That changed last month.

Looking at the data from the Realtors Confidence Index, it’s clear most of the jump in closings came from trade-up buyers with large down payments and those with cash on hand. All-cash and investor sales were both up, while first-time buyers made up only 29 percent of the market (32 percent in November 2016).

While November’s sales jump is great news heading into 2018, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun reiterated during this morning’s press conference that supply is still way too low. Sales to first-time buyers will not improve meaningfully unless there’s a significant boost in new and existing listings next year.

We’ll find out soon…

10 standout features RPR added this year

Productivity was the name of the game for RPR users in 2017. The Platform introduced scores of new tools and features that make a real estate agent’s business day a little better, from simple solutions like voice-to-text transcription to the ability to create a CMA using your phone. Here are the most popular enhancements from 2017.

1. Search by Voice

Now, RPR makes it easier for REALTORS® on the go by introducing voice-to-text search capability in RPR Mobile™. Tap the magnifying glass icon from within any of the search fields to initiate voice to text transcription. This new feature is also available when using the Property Notes function on RPR.

2. A comp analysis on the fly

The app’s offerings have been expanded to include Comp Analysis Express––a simple, intuitive interface to create an on-the-go CMA using your phone or tablet. Update or install RPR Mobile™ to see for yourself.

3. Notifications on RPR Mobile™ 

Be the first to know about status, price, and estimated value changes on your saved properties or listed inventory. RPR’s new notification settings allow you the ability to control notification types you would like to receive. Visit the app’s Settings tool to get started.

4. SMR Commercial Tenant data

A recent integration adds data on more than seven million tenants, such as name, suite number, move-in date, type of business, and business start date. You can also add or edit tenant information. The data can be found on Commercial Property Reports as well as printed as a stand-alone report.

5. Add custom home facts

This newly added function allows users to add their own custom home facts. Items added to the RPR Property Details page will also be added to RPR Property Reports, Comp Analyses and Seller’s Reports.

6. Traffic count data arrives in RPR Commercial and mobile

Now, RPR offers the industry’s most current traffic measurement product to its website and app users with 24-hour average daily traffic counts for highways and roads throughout the United States.

7. Insert PDF templates into RPR Reports

Easily custom files into reports you create from RPR. The new feature is an excellent way to showcase your biography, testimonials, additional statistics, and specific marketing tools and methods you employ for clients. Brokers enrolled in RPR’s Broker Tool Set have the option to also include an additional five PDF pages for their agents to use as well.

8. Residential lease searches

RPR users now have access to more than 167,000 active lease properties and more than eight million off-market rental properties from their mobile phones.

9. Open Houses on the RPR app

Planning your open house tour just got a whole lot easier thanks to a significant upgrade to the RPR app. A new “Open House” feature on the app’s home screen provides a count of open houses, see properties in search results with upcoming open houses, search exclusively for open houses and to filter by date.

10. Good news for FPCs,GADs and Association staff

Now, NAR’s quarterly Congressional District Reports on housing trends can be easily inserted into RPR’s Economic Area Reports. RPR’s Federal Economic Area Report offers insights into the demographics, consumer behavior and economic activity of your congressional district or state.

Instant Reaction: November Jobs Report

The following is NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s reaction to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report on employment conditions in November:

“November marked another impressive month for the labor market, adding up to now over 2 million net new jobs over the past 12 months.  From the deep recession in 2010, 17 million new jobs have been created. In fact, current employment levels are way above the pre-recession levels by nearly 10 million.

That means an abundance of new potential homebuyers in the near future. Yet, the construction employment is still slow in coming. Even the though the latest month’s job growth rate in the construction sector of 2.7% is twice as fast as the overall growth rate, total construction jobs are still well below the pre-recession levels by roughly 20%. Without more skilled construction workers and more hiring in the sector, the housing shortage will continue well into 2018.”

Instant Reaction: Lawrence Yun on Today’s FOMC Statement

The following statement is NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s reaction to the Federal Reserve’s decision today to raise short-term interest rates, as well as what it means for the economy and housing in 2018:

“There will be juice added to the economy in the months ahead as a result of the expected passage of a massive tax cut. It remains to be seen whether the effects are long-lasting or just for a short period of time. 

However, with the unemployment rate already at a low of around 4 percent, there is not much room to go further down. That means inflationary pressure will slowly develop. That is why the Federal Reserve today raised the short-term interest rates and will likely do so three more times in 2018. The longer-term interest rates, like the 30-year fixed mortgages rate, will therefore be nudged higher in 2018. Economic stimulus will help with job creation and housing demand, but higher interest rates threaten to cut into housing affordability next year.”   

Voter Registration Drive

We are launching a voter registration drive to increase REALTOR® participation and influence in the political process! Nearly 80 percent of all REALTORS® are registered to vote, but we can do better. While you may be registered, we would like you to consider taking one of the following actions:

  • If you know that you are NOT registered, and would like to REGISTER TO VOTE, it has never been easier. Just go to www.realtorsvote.org and register.  It’s that simple.
  • If you ARE registered to vote, congratulations! We would appreciate your help in keeping our files up to date by going to www.realtoractioncenter.com/vote and confirming your registration. Often we have only a business address on file, which explains why we could not match you to the state voter file.

The Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® is proud to join with the National Association of REALTORS® on this important civic effort to increase the number of registered voters and voter participation across the country.

Questions? Contact Jessica Dietrich  for more information.

LeadershipOAR Application

Go back to LeadershipOAR page

We realize that this is a long application. If you would rather fill out a PDF and email it to us click here.

LeadershipOAR

  • Personal Data

  • Drop files here or
  • Education

  • Begin with high school, college(s), advanced degrees and/or specialized training)
  • Work Experience

  • Please include local board of REALTORS® and/or OAR involvement. Do not include include civic organizations, public office or political activities in this section.
  • Community Involvement

  • Please include community, civic, spiritual, political, government, social, athletic or other activities. Do not include business or professional activities. Also indicate major role in the organization at this time.
  • General Information

  • (One of the goals of LeadershipOAR is to build a network of Association leaders who can enhance their problem-solving and other leadership abilities through shared perspectives and working together)
  • Commitment

  • To graduate from LeadershipOAR, a participant is expected to attend all sessions.
  • Retreat 1: February 21-22, 2018 at Shangri-La (Grove, OK)
    Retreat 2: April 25-26, 2018 at Quartz Mountain (Lone Wolf, OK)
    Retreat 3: June 18-19, 2018 at Embassy Suites (Oklahoma City, OK)
    Retreat 4: August 22-23 at Lake Murray Lodge (Ardmore, OK)
    Retreat 5: October 9-11 in conjunction with REignite at The Skirvin (Oklahoma City, OK)
  • Tuition

  • If accepted into the LeadershipOAR program, you will be billed for the remaining $1,000 tuition fee ($1,195 - $195 application fee). This tuition includes training sessions, meals, overnight accommodations and instructional materials. Additional costs to the participants will include transportation from home to the meeting or retreat site and minimal expenses, which may be incurred during the field exercise phase of the program.
  • Note: If tuition is not paid in full by February 15, 2018, you will not be able to participate in the LeadershipOAR program.
  • Broker Commitment

  • Sponsor Commitment (if applicable)

Note: Your application will be incomplete without your $195 application fee. You can either pay the fee online
Pay application fee online
or mail a check to:
Oklahoma Association of REALTORS®
ATTN: LOAR
9807 Broadway Ext. Oklahoma City, OK 73114

Instant Reaction: S&P/Case-Shiller September Home Prices

The following is NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun’s reaction to the S&P/Case-Shiller release on September home prices:

“Home prices, after multiple years of fast growth, still show no signs of cooling because of the ongoing housing shortage in much of the country. The latest Case-Shiller price growth of 6.2% on a nationwide basis marks the strongest rise in over three years. This fast appreciation over income growth is not sustainable over many years. 

Housing demand is clearly rising from the improving labor market, but supply is still not kicking higher. Homes for sale are quickly going under contract, and overall existing inventory has fallen for 29 consecutive months (on a year-over-year basis). Either demand will chocked off from weakening affordability, or more robust construction needs to take place to calm home prices. The latter is the much preferred outcome, and would be a win for homebuyers, a win for homebuilders and win for faster economic growth.”