Ohio Market Watch: Residential rents continue to rise

By Greg Stitz, OAR Director of Research

Over the past four years about two-thirds of Ohio REALTORS consistently observe an increase in residential rents in their area compared to the previous year. OAR’s February Housing Market Confidence survey findings reveal 69 percent of respondents claiming rents in their area have risen compared to last year. Only two percent notice a decrease in residential rents and 29 percent notice no change. This is good news for Ohio’s housing market because as rents rise the affordability of buying versus renting increases. improves.


Survey results are based on responses to a monthly survey, designed to capture the effects of the existing economic conditions and trends on the real estate industry, sent to a pool of 1,500 OAR participants. Click here to participate in future OAR Housing Confidence Surveys.

Tags: Ohio Market Watch, research

Success Tips #6: Marketing tool #1…Have a database

By “Coach” Jackie Leavenworth

We’ve come along way in designing your business and designing your life. We now have very intentional reasons behind why we work so hard. Those reasons cost us money and time. We boil down how much money we need to make to live our desired life and run our desired business and we figured out how many units we needed to sell to acquire that desired income. Next we picked the sources of business, exactly where the business will come from, and then determined a list of tools to reach each of those sources. In this tip we will use our “rifle “approach to use those tools in a very specific manner.

Let’s start with our database. It is always easier to work with people who already know you, like you and trust you. In fact, our database should be the major percentage of our business. Real estate 101…have a database! Every database needs a system to organize it. There are a ton of choices out there and you could spend a lifetime trying to figure out which one to use. Don’t waste time on that, just pick one that works with your level of tech and your budget. My thought would be to always, always have your master list in Microsoft Excel (or Numbers for Mac Users). From MS Excel you can export the list to any other CRM (Customer Relationship Manager). The reason I believe you should have your master database in MS Excel (and backed up somewhere!) is that we never know what might happen with the on-line systems we pay for. If, for some reason, your chosen CRM went down, lost data or closed the business, where will you be. My technique is to always add new people to the master database that I keep in MS Excel in my computer (backed up to Dropbox and an external hard drive). Then those contacts are exported to my chosen mailing program, etc. I exported the whole list in the beginning and then can export one at time or in little batches as I add to my master database. If one of my chosen vendors goes away, my master database still exists and I am in control of that. The master list keeps all of your contacts, but it does not keep notes on that client, birthdays, etc. That’s where you need a CRM of some sort.

Some agents simply rely on Microsoft Outlook to keep notes, create mailing labels and categorize your sphere list. Others, who want more functionality and real estate specific categories, etc. will pick a real estate specific product. Some agents go with power-packed systems that also cost more like Top Producer, others go with the less expensive, but systemized options like Realty Juggler. Brian Buffini has a a CRM called Referral Maker that is quite popular. Each has it’s own unique benefits. What is most important to you…price, customized fields, drip campaigns, reminders to contact specific people on specific dates? My thought…just pick one that fits your budget, and start a free trial (I mean REALLY use the free trial…during the free period) so that you know how it works. Then, begin working your sphere. Your sphere is a gold mine, work it and sift through the opportunities that are waiting for you. If you don’t like the CRM after the trial, try another. Whatever you do, have at least a master database in your computer and use it!

Oh, one more thing. We all work very hard in this business, too hard to work, retire and never make money in real estate again. Position yourself to sell your business in the future. Businesses without a working database will never sell…food for thought, eh?

Stay tuned for some great ideas on what to do with your sphere now that it is organized.

Enjoy the journey.


Coach Jackie Leavenworth ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI, SFR, born, raised and still living in Ohio is the owner of Jackie Leavenworth Seminars. Licensed in 1984, her real estate business includes being a top producer, manager and education director for a large real estate company in Cleveland. Currently, Coach Jackie is a REALTOR, international speaker/trainer, Certified CRS Instructor and a coach to real estate agents around the country. Developing and delivering quality programs that are not the “same old thing” is Jackie’s specialty. Real estate is Jackie’s passion and making a positive difference in the lives of others is her purpose. Coach Jackie has programs, CD’s, videos and forms to help you grow. If you want to learn more, grow more or have her speak for your brokerage or board, please visit her at www.CoachJackie.com or email her at Jackie@CoachJackie.com. She thrives on helping others.

Tags: Success Tips

Legally speaking: Can I offer property management services?

By Lorie Garland, OAR Assistant Vice President of Legal Services

The OAR Legal Assistance Hotline receives an array of real estate-related legal questions — including license law issues, disclosure, contract law, ethics and commission problems, among others. In an effort to help you work within the law, our “Legally Speaking” series spotlights some of the timely questions that are being asked by REALTORS. This one involves offering property management services…

Q: I am a licensed agent. I am also the managing member and sole owner of an LLC that owns rental properties. The leasing and management of the properties are done through my LLC. My broker requested I handle my rental properties through my LLC (not the brokerage) because she does not want the brokerage to get into the property management business. I am doing well with my rental properties and would like to offer property management services to other property owners. Can I, through my LLC, provide property management services on properties I do not own?

A: No. Providing property management services on properties you do not own requires a real estate license. Therefore, these services must be done through and in the name of the brokerage company that holds your license. As your broker does not want to offer property management services you would have to transfer your license to a broker who does or would be willing to offer property management services and the services would then be done in the brokerage name. Your unlicensed LLC can only manage properties the LLC owns.

Tags: legal, Legally Speaking

Free webinar for Ohio’s REALTORS: Keep more commissions with tax deductions

piggy bank with $

The Ohio Association of REALTORS, in conjunction with its member benefit partner Taxbot, is offering a free webinar  on March 11 to help REALTORS keep more of their hard-earned income through tax breaks.

The webinar, featuring tax attorney and CPA Sandy Botkin, will explore how REALTORS can pay the least amount of taxes possible next year by doing a few simple things today. Most business owners or 1099 employees overpay their taxes between $1,000 and $13,000 annually — even when using a CPA. This program is designed to provide you insights to keep more of that money in your pocket by examining:

  • How to get your gas for free
  • How to legally deduct your kid’s video games and ballet lessons
  • How to write off more of your meals and entertainment
  • How claiming a home office can turbocharge your retirement
  • How technology has made it easy to become a tax savvy business owner

Participants will also learn about Taxbot’s OAR member-discounted product, a mobile and web-based expense tracking system designed to save independent contractors money.

The webinar, set for 10 a.m. on March 11, will last about an hour and include a Q&A session. Click here for more information and/or to register for this free event.


Tags: Association news

Home purchase agreements jump nearly 20 percent in January, Ohio REALTORS report

contract keys and pen

By Carl Horst, OAR Director of Publications/Media Relations

The Ohio Association of REALTORS reports the number of single-family homes and condominiums put under agreement in January 2015 increased 19.5 percent from the level posted during the month a year ago.

The rate of purchase contract signings in January fell 7.2 percent from the market’s December 2014 pace.

Ohio’s January Pending Home Sales Index of 136.7, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, increased 19.5 percent from January 2014 (114.4). Activity in January decreased 7.2 percent from the pace of agreements reached in December 2014 (147.2).

“It’s apparent that interest in the Ohio housing marketplace remains strong among buyers, as we posted the best-ever rate of home contracts entered into in January,” said OAR President Greg Hrabcak. “Additionally, the Ohio market has now tallied nine consecutive months of year-over-year gains.

“A lingering concern looking forward is the tight inventory of homes currently being marketed for sale across Ohio,” Hrabcak added. “We’re hopeful that as we enter the spring marketplace we’ll see an uptick in the number of for sale signs in front yards.”

Compared to 2008, a historically healthy market that marked the end of five consecutive record years for existing home sales and the onset of the recession, January’s Index score of 136.7 marks a 36.7 percent increase.

A pending sale or a sale “under agreement” is when the buyer and seller agree on terms of the sale of a home and have a signed purchase and sale agreement, but have yet to close and be recorded as such. Refer to the following report to view the pending home sales index and methods.

OAR, the largest professional trade association in the state with more than 28,000 members, is the only organization that compiles this state wide information from selected Multiple Listing Services each month. The tracking of “pending sales” provides reliable information about where the market is heading in coming months.

Tags: pending home sales, research

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