RISMedia’s 2019 Real Estate Newsmakers: Inside the Issue

Dec 8, 2018 by

RISMedia is closing out 2018 with credit to the Newsmakers—individuals in the industry who’ve made news in positive ways. Affecting their colleagues and communities through efforts that include innovation, leadership and humanitarianism, RISMedia’s Real Estate Newsmakers honors the impact they’ve had on the industry, and recognizes their success.

In the December issue of RISMedia’s Real Estate magazine, you’ll find the Newsmakers showcase, highlighting those recognized this year. To access by category, turn to:

  1. 32 – The Influencers
  2. 36 – The Trailblazers
  3. 42 – The Futurists
  4. 48 – The Achievers
  5. 54 – The Crusaders
  6. 58 – The Inspirations
  7. 64 – The Luminaries
  8. 70 – The Trendsetters

RISMedia announced a call-out for Newsmaker nominations over the summer, following the inaugural induction of the 2018 Class of Newsmakers this past spring. Our 2019 Class of Newsmakers—comprising more than 230 individuals—was unveiled this week.

“In RISMedia’s Real Estate Newsmakers, you’ll find an inspirational overview of more than 230 industry leaders who are making a difference in the real estate and homeownership sectors, and whose actions have a far-reaching and profound impact on the real estate industry, from nationwide to their own local communities,” says John Featherston, CEO and publisher of RISMedia. “You’ll meet the thought leaders and the icons. The heroes and the champions of a better way. The ones who are breaking the mold and the ones who are leading the industry forward.”

Our 2019 Class of Newsmakers will be honored at the annual Newsmaker Awards Reception & Dinner, held in May 2019 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The event includes an awards ceremony denoting the Hall of Fame, a group of Newsmakers selected specially for the year.

The December issue of RISMedia’s Real Estate magazine, which includes the Newsmakers showcase, is available for purchase on

Know a Newsmaker? For information on nominating or becoming a 2020 RISMedia Real Estate Newsmaker, please email our executive editor, Maria Patterson, at Nominations will be accepted in early 2019.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark

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5 Action Items for Your 2019 Business Plan

Dec 5, 2018 by

As real estate professionals, we often try to predict what will happen next. What are the threats to our business? Where will I drum up new leads? What do I need to do next?

With 2019 on our doorstep, I thought I’d share the crucial skills our seasoned instructors recommend you capitalize on, or at least bake into your 2019 business plan.

Incorporate Thoughtful Networking
“2019 promises to be a year full of potential, despite anecdotal feelings of a softening in some markets, especially for real estate professionals focusing on the luxury price point. With that said, perhaps the most critical skillset to focus on is thoughtful networking outside of traditional venues. Relationships with other providers of (luxury) goods and services, professionals who share a similar client base and other successful upper-tier agents can result in connections to buyers that wouldn’t happen by simply listing a property and creating effective marketing materials. Focusing on positive opportunities will make the difference between an average year and a great year.”
– Tami Simms, REALTOR®, CLHMS, Institute for Luxury Home Marketing Trainer

Cultivate Relationships
“Relations still—and always will—matter. One thing real estate professionals need to learn, especially those just starting out in their career, is something that will carry them into every listing, sale and property management agreement: Real estate is all about relationships. There are many ebbs and flows in the business, and always something new to learn. You can learn the laws, take the exams and figure out the technology, but without the capability of building a relationship, your survival in the business is dubious.”
– Jolita Brazzano, Broker/Owner, Real Estate Express Instructor

Improve Your Communications and Simplify Transactions
“Industry expertise and local market prowess will no longer be sufficient. Those attributes must now be coupled with faster-paced communication—think text message and video chat—and using tools to streamline transactions, just as consumers have experienced in other types of businesses and now expect from the real estate community.”
– John Walker, Broker/Owner, Superior School of Real Estate Instructor 

Consider Competitive Commission Structures
“Sellers are driving the competition for the commissions they pay to sell their house. The seller only wants to pay for the services rendered, and only for the services they think are warranted and ‘needed’ in selling their house. Sellers also want to get away from a ‘fixed percentage’ for commissions. Learning how to navigate this structure, and how to better position the fees you charge, will provide valued transparency so your listings thrive.”
– Linda Leavitt, Broker, Real Estate Express Instructor

Strike Balance With Technology and Personal Interaction
“Remember that technology can’t make up for what our business is: a people and service business. No machine can replace you, as long as you provide excellent customer service and treat people as if you’re in it for the long haul. Do this and you’ll find success throughout your career.”
– Melanie McLane, REALTOR®, Real Estate Express Instructor

Tom Davidson is the general manager of Real Estate Express, a national leader in online learning for pre-licensing, continuing education and professional development. Davidson has nearly 15 years of experience in the real estate industry. From sales training and product development to growing the business, his multi-faceted background encompasses crucial functions to a successful career in the field. To learn more, visit

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark

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RISMedia’s 2019 Real Estate Newsmakers: Positivity Shines

Dec 4, 2018 by

Whether advocating for a cause, challenging “what’s always been done” or inspiring the masses, RISMedia’s 2019 Real Estate Newsmakers are linked by a shared thread: positivity. Our 2019 class contains the stories of more than 230 Newsmakers, or individuals in the industry making news in positive ways, from their backyard or on a bigger stage.

RISMedia’s Real Estate Newsmakers was born out of what we cover every day: our readers’ stories. It’s our goal to highlight the impact you’ve had on the industry and your neighborhoods, from the full-fledged Futurists looking beyond the here and now, to the Luminaries who’ve made their mark in real estate, and every Newsmaker in between.

The 2018 Class of Newsmakers—our first—were honored during our Real Estate Newsmaker Awards Reception & Dinner this past spring. After that, we asked the industry for their Newsmakers— many who’ve been unsung until now. Countless nominations were submitted over the summer, and we’ve been inspired and motivated by what you’ve shared. Here, we showcase their stories.

Know a Newsmaker? For information on nominating or becoming a 2020 RISMedia Real Estate Newsmaker, please email our executive editor, Maria Patterson, at Nominations will be accepted in early 2019.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark

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Forecasting Housing in 2019: Not Better for Buyers, but Not Worse

Dec 2, 2018 by

If the expectations about housing in 2019 can be summed up in one word, it’s this: balanced.

After months and months on a runaway track, home prices have started to temper, and will continue to moderate in the upcoming year, according to new predictions by several sources. Analysts are anticipating anywhere from 2.2 to 3.79 percent growth in home prices for the year—a considerable dip from past years, but an indicator of a leveling-out market.

The deceleration, however, is not likely to overcome other pressures, like climbing mortgage rates and short starter supply, changing conditions for homebuyers and sellers. According to a forecast by®, there will be a fewer than 7 percent increase in inventory overall for the year.

“Inventory will continue to increase next year, but unless there is a major shift in the economic trajectory, we don’t expect a buyer’s market on the horizon within the next five years,” says Danielle Hale, chief economist at “Unfortunately for buyers, it’s only going to get more costly to buy, especially the most-demanded entry-level real estate.”

Meanwhile, interest rates will track toward 6 percent—landing between 5.3 and 5.5 percent,’s report shows, or 5.8 percent, according to a forecast by Zillow. In the scenario, monthly mortgage payments will rise 8 percent.

The increase is an obstacle for renters; in fact, it is now the “biggest challenge” toward purchasing for 19 percent of renters, according to a forecast by Trulia. Thirteen percent said the same this spring.

“I believe we’re going to see rates go toward what they were 10 years back coming out of the recession: closer to 5.25, 5.3 percent,” says Cheryl Young, senior economist at Trulia. “The real issue around affordability and rising interest rates—whether or not people know how much that’s going to impact their monthly mortgage payment—is the fact that prices have been outstripping wage growth. The bottom end of the market, especially first-time homebuyers, are already feeling the squeeze, so any rise in interest rates takes another bite out of affordability.”

For the buyers capable of paying prices today, however—and at the interest rates of tomorrow—there will be a measure of relief.

“Certain headwinds—including rising mortgage interest rates, higher rents and stiff competition for housing in the most desirable areas—will only grow stronger over the next year, but that won’t necessarily be a bad thing,” says Aaron Terrazas, senior economist at Zillow. “A slower-moving market is likely to give more buyers a chance to catch their breath and choose from a wider selection of homes that fit their preferences and budgets.”

First-timers will again be a force in 2019, accounting for 45 percent of mortgages, according to’s report. Many will be millennials who are moving or trading up. According to Trulia, 21 percent of millennials are planning to purchase in the next year.

Given the buyer dynamics, 2019 will continue the favorable market for sellers, as well—but not everyone will garner multiple offers, as in recent years. According to the forecast by, sales will soften for the year, down 2 percent.

“For the first time in a while, home seller sentiment has decreased,” Young says, citing the report by Trulia. “I think people, net, are still thinking it is a good time to sell, but it is not as favorable as it was last year.”

One critical development in 2019 is the effect of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. According to the research by Trulia, half of homeowners believe they will not benefit from the changes when they file their taxes—and many,’s report shows, will have a bigger bill at tax time. How housing will be impacted overall is unknown.

Another development is disasters, which are growing in intensity and number. Following two devastating hurricanes and the wildfires this year, analysts are expecting more occurrences in 2019. According to the predictions by Zillow, a “record number” of homes will be lost as a result—but according to the findings by Trulia, 52 percent of homeowners are “no more or less concerned” about the potential threat.

The Takeaway
With the burn-out in home prices, and rates rising, housing has been inching toward normal this year, and is anticipated to stabilize through 2019. Battered buyers may have improved prospects in the upcoming year, but will still contend with cost and inventory pressures.

“2019 looks to be a pivotal year as the market cools and transitions from one marked by robust recovery into one more in line with historic norms, and more balanced between buyers, sellers and renters,” Terrazas says.

Regardless of the outcome, for practitioners, it’s business as usual.

“I’ve been through four downturns, and I’m making my agents aware that it can turn on a dime,” says Charlie Richardson, founder and senior partner of Richardson Properties | Christie’s International Real Estate, based in San Luis Obispo, Calif. “There are a lot of things that are hard for us to control. Prices were increasing, and I think that will taper off a little bit, but as far as I can see, we’re going to have a good year.”

“We are moving from an incredibly hot real estate market to a more normalized one,” says Keith Robinson, vice president of Strategy of NextHome. “Is this a deep breath for the market before it starts to march back up, or the starting phase of a true downturn in real estate values? What matters most is paying attention to your local market and your needs. People, in general, buy their home because of timing in their lives, not timing in the market.”

Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark

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The 2019 Market: Prepare for Changes, Master the Fundamentals

Nov 30, 2018 by

We’re in the midst of a shakeup in the real estate industry. Technology is threatening to take agents out of the equation, making the profession obsolete. Or is it? The real estate industry is definitely in a state of flux; however, a true professional will never be replaced by the latest gadget, app or tech trend. How can you shore up your business to thrive in this new era? And, how can you sharpen your skills so you can exceed your clients’ changing needs?

Use technology as a tool. Technology is not the enemy. In fact, technology is a useful tool to help you streamline your business and become a more efficient and effective agent. The key is to use it as a component to your business, not as the basis for your business.

Focus on the fundamentals, which include consistent contact, filling needs and delivering the unexpected extras. These are the timeless tools that make up the foundation of a lasting business and can weather any changes in the market. The truth is the fundamentals remain relevant regardless of the latest trends.

Understand your market. In addition to knowing your own sales numbers, learn all you can about your local market. What factors are having the biggest impact on your local economy and the market? Get involved in your local real estate organizations to stay up-to-date. The more you know, the better prepared you’ll be to answer your clients’ market-related questions.

Invest in your relationships. According to Brian Tracy, “The value of a relationship is in direct proportion to the time that you invest in the relationship.” When you work by referral, your relationships drive your business. Regardless of what’s going on in the market and the latest industry trends, if you devote your time, effort and energy into each and every client in your database, you can be sure you’ll outlast your competition in the business.

Sharpen your skills. The sharper your skills, the better equipped you’ll be to meet and exceed the needs and demands of your current and potential buyers and sellers. Regardless of how easy technology makes it to buy and sell a home, your clients still need you on their team throughout the process to help them negotiate with the other party, find the right home and guide them if challenges arise during the transaction. Let’s face it; technology is a poor substitute for true human advocacy.

Follow these tips and you can be sure to future-proof your business. Want to learn more? Tune in to “Brian Buffini’s Bold Predictions: What’s Ahead & How to Win in 2019,” on Tuesday, December 4 at 9:00 am PST. Industry expert Brian Buffini will share his market forecast and offer tips to help you meet the challenges and thrive.

Brian Buffini immigrated to San Diego from Ireland in 1986 and became a top performing REALTOR®. He then founded Buffini & Company to share his powerful lead-generation system. Buffini & Company has trained over 3M people in 37 countries and coaches 25K+ business pros. Today, Brian’s a New York Times best-selling author and reaches over 1 million listeners a year through “The Brian Buffini Show” podcast. For more, visit

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark

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