array(2) { ["ItemsNewsletters"]=> array(5) { ["item_id"]=> string(5) "97429" ["newsletter_id"]=> string(5) "26087" ["section_id"]=> string(10) "Section_01" ["item_type"]=> string(4) "item" ["zone"]=> string(7) "Stories" } ["Item"]=> array(7) { ["id"]=> string(5) "97429" ["subject"]=> string(46) "Economic Forecast Hinges on Policy, Tax Reform" ["authors"]=> string(17) "By RISMedia Staff" ["data"]=> string(2475) "The economy could get a lift from tax reform, with homebuyers and homeowners likely having more income, but less in the way of write-offs, according to Fannie Mae's Economic & Strategic Research (ESR) Group's recently released Economic and Housing Outlook for January 2018. Analysts believe housing will again be marked by short supply this year. 
 
"The new tax laws are likely to motivate a mixed response in the housing market: Increased disposable household income should lead to greater housing demand, but changes to deductions essentially reduce the subsidy for homeownership," says Doug Duncan, chief economist at Fannie Mae. "On balance, we expect the housing market in 2018 to encounter many of the same challenges as last year, including inventory shortages, particularly in the middle and lower-end of the market, and affordability headwinds."

Analysts anticipate GDP will increase 2.7 percent, as well as a tumbling unemployment rate—if policymakers step up.
 
"The question for 2018 is less about the impacts of the tax cuts for consumers and corporations than about how the Fed manages the pace of monetary policy normalization amid a stimulative fiscal environment," Duncan says. "As we see it, the traditional view of a trade-off between employment and inflation lacks solid empirical support in recent decades, and aggressive monetary policy to ward off a potentially overheating economy may do more harm than good. Managing a 'soft landing' will be a difficult but critical task for policymakers in 2018."
 
Analysts also expect the Federal Reserve to hike the key interest rate, which can affect the cost of a loan, including mortgages, at least twice this year. The Fed raised the rate three times in 2017.
 
Fannie's forecast comes on the heels of another outlook released this week by Freddie Mac, which anticipates a boost in home prices, sales and starts in 2018. 
 
Source: Fannie Mae " ["preview"]=> string(479) "The economy could get a lift from tax reform, with homebuyers and homeowners likely having more income, but less in the way of write-offs, according to Fannie Mae's Economic & Strategic Research (ESR) Group's recently released Economic and Housing Outlook for January 2018. Analysts believe" ["link"]=> string(65) "http://rismedia.com/cs/{ID}/{AffiliateID}/{SubscriberID}/{ItemID}" ["type"]=> string(4) "item" } } array(2) { ["ItemsNewsletters"]=> array(5) { ["item_id"]=> string(5) "97428" ["newsletter_id"]=> string(5) "26087" ["section_id"]=> string(10) "Section_01" ["item_type"]=> string(4) "item" ["zone"]=> string(7) "Stories" } ["Item"]=> array(7) { ["id"]=> string(5) "97428" ["subject"]=> string(56) "Impact of Teams: Join One, Start One or Compete Like One" ["authors"]=> string(0) "" ["data"]=> string(1670) "

NAR PULSE—Teams are already a major driver of business nationwide—in some areas of the country, they represent over 50 percent of all transactions. To further measure the impact teams are having on the industry, NAR, in partnership with realtor.com®, is conducting a study measuring the impact of teams. Participate in this short quiz through NAR's Member Value Plus (MVP) Program by Jan. 31 and earn access to discounts and incentives on realtor.com® products. Act now
 
Build a Culture of Safety Around the Office
Have a pre-determined code word or phrase among coworkers which can be used as a signal for help if agents ever find themselves in an uncomfortable or potentially dangerous situation.  Find more REALTOR® Safety Tips and resources here
 
Keep Business Moving With .realtor™
Kick off 2018 by claiming an exclusive .realtor™ domain for your firm and adding G Suite from Google Cloud and Placester®, a REALTOR Benefits® Program Partner, to your toolbelt. Learn more and get started today! " ["preview"]=> string(282) "
Teams are already a major driver of business nationwide—in some areas of the country, they represent over 50 percent of all transactions. To further" ["link"]=> string(65) "http://rismedia.com/cs/{ID}/{AffiliateID}/{SubscriberID}/{ItemID}" ["type"]=> string(4) "item" } } array(2) { ["ItemsNewsletters"]=> array(5) { ["item_id"]=> string(5) "97427" ["newsletter_id"]=> string(5) "26087" ["section_id"]=> string(10) "Section_01" ["item_type"]=> string(4) "item" ["zone"]=> string(7) "Stories" } ["Item"]=> array(7) { ["id"]=> string(5) "97427" ["subject"]=> string(74) "How Savvy Real Estate Professionals Close More Sales With Real Estate IRAs" ["authors"]=> string(20) "By The Entrust Group" ["data"]=> string(5113) "Americans have more than $7.5 trillion in their individual retirement accounts. The investments in those accounts may be underperforming, or your clients may be interested in diversifying their retirement portfolio with real estate. With the tightening of lending practices, self-directed IRAs are a great source for funding transactions. Smart real estate professionals understand the advantages of self-directed retirement plans. In fact, real estate is, by far, the most popular investment in self-directed retirement plans, and single-family homes are the top real estate assets.
 
We see hundreds of transactions processed monthly and this continues to grow annually. But as a real estate professional, how do you work with these investors? Where do you find them? How do you sell to them? The answer is that some of these people are probably already in your database. Your client database is a gold mine of information. After all, Americans have more than $7.5 trillion in their individual retirement accounts. Chances are, most (if not all) of your clients have an IRA of some sort.
 
Nowadays, people research any investment before making a purchase. By the time your clients contact you, they have a good idea of what a Real Estate IRA is, and what they want to purchase. Most of the Real Estate IRA investors we deal with open a self-directed IRA when they have already identified the property.
 
Real Estate Agents, Are You Prepared?
Would you be able to talk about Real Estate IRAs if you were approached by a client regarding this topic? Credibility goes a long way.
 
Having that conversation is a great way to reconnect with clients who may not be ready to buy or sell their house, but might benefit from buying an investment property in an IRA to boost their retirement savings.
 
Entrust has attended many real estate events and talked to thousands of real estate agents. Most of them did not know that real estate could be purchased with retirement dollars for investment purposes. "How come I did not know about this?" is the most frequent question we are asked. The answer is simple: Most big custodians that offer retirement plans promote products such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds; therefore, investors are not aware that you can hold real estate. In fact, in some cases custodians will tell you that real estate is not allowed.
 
When talking to these agents, we discovered that some had turned away clients that brought up the topic because they didn't think they could assist them, and, therefore, lost the sale.
 
One of the most popular questions you will get from your clients is, "Can I live in the house I buy with my IRA dollars?" The answer is no. We hear this almost on a daily basis. Real estate in an IRA is for investment purposes only and not for primary residence use. The real estate investment lives in a tax-free or tax-deferred account as long as you comply with IRS rules and regulations. The income and expenses flow in and out of the IRA. It is important that you know the intent of purchase when assisting a client. You can save them and yourself a lot of time.
 
Education Is Key to Grow Your Real Estate Business
As real estate (i.e., actual properties) and alternative investments in IRAs become more popular, real estate agents will be faced with the challenge to assist their clients with these types of real estate transactions. Educating yourself will be the key to success. You do not need to have an IRA designation or be an expert in IRAs; however, you do need to know how to answer the basic questions when it comes to Real Estate IRAs and have an established working relationship with a reputable company that can assist in educating your clients on the opportunity.
 
Educating yourself about the potential benefits of Real Estate IRAs will set you apart from the competition. Sharing that education with your existing clients opens new opportunities for you to grow your business and help position yourself as their trusted resource on this topic. Arming clients with this tool will help you stand out and it will help them save for retirement with investments they know and understand. It's a win-win.
Mastering the opportunities in Real Estate IRAs can help you: Learn more about how Real Estate IRAs can help you grow your business. 
 
For more information, please visit www.TheEntrustGroup.com
" ["preview"]=> string(259) "
Americans have more than $7.5 trillion in their individual retirement accounts. The investments in those accounts may be" ["link"]=> string(65) "http://rismedia.com/cs/{ID}/{AffiliateID}/{SubscriberID}/{ItemID}" ["type"]=> string(4) "item" } } array(2) { ["ItemsNewsletters"]=> array(5) { ["item_id"]=> string(5) "97301" ["newsletter_id"]=> string(5) "26087" ["section_id"]=> string(10) "Section_01" ["item_type"]=> string(4) "item" ["zone"]=> string(7) "Stories" } ["Item"]=> array(7) { ["id"]=> string(5) "97301" ["subject"]=> string(58) "Great Spaces: Lyndon B. Johnson's Texas Hill Country Ranch" ["authors"]=> string(16) "By Zoe Eisenberg" ["data"]=> string(3077) "Editor's Note: This was originally published on RISMedia's blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin' now at blog.rismedia.com:
 
Looking to live like a former president? Now you can, if you're ready to drop $2.8 million and move to Johnson City, Texas. Former president Lyndon B. Johnson's Texas ranch sprawls over a gigantic 142 acres of lush land with incredible 360-degree views.
 
The property, located at 377 Shiloh Road, was purchased by Johnson in 1963 just one week into his presidency, and remained in his hands until 1971. The three-bedroom, two-bathroom main home on the estate was built on the foundation of the original LBJ home, with his bedroom and bathroom lovingly restored. The space features gorgeous stone and wood details and plenty of outdoor decks for taking in those sweeping hilltop views. An adjacent one-bedroom, one-bathroom cottage also stands, formerly used to house Johnson's Secret Service, obviously.

The estate is also the former home of Italian artist Benini, who purchased the home in 1999 with his wife Lorraine Benini. Together the couple transformed an existing 12,000-square-foot hanger into art galleries and an educational venue known as The Sculpture Ranch.
 
Only 25 minutes from Fredericksburg, this stunning hilltop estate offers rich history, art dripping from every corner and views abound at 1,800 feet of elevation.
 




 
Image Credit 
 
Zoe Eisenberg is RISMedia's senior content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at zoe@rismedia.com." ["preview"]=> string(263) "
Looking to live like a former president? Now you can, if you're ready to drop $2.8 million and move to Johnson City, Texas." ["link"]=> string(65) "http://rismedia.com/cs/{ID}/{AffiliateID}/{SubscriberID}/{ItemID}" ["type"]=> string(4) "item" } } array(2) { ["ItemsNewsletters"]=> array(5) { ["item_id"]=> string(5) "97302" ["newsletter_id"]=> string(5) "26087" ["section_id"]=> string(10) "Section_01" ["item_type"]=> string(4) "item" ["zone"]=> string(7) "Stories" } ["Item"]=> array(7) { ["id"]=> string(5) "97302" ["subject"]=> string(72) "Social Skills: Maintaining a Consistent Brand Across Multiple Platforms " ["authors"]=> string(16) "By Liz Dominguez" ["data"]=> string(5328) "Posting on social media a few times per week may not be as effective as it once was without the right marketing, regardless of the industry you work in. In a cyber world that is inundated with a continuous stream of digital content, it is more important than ever to not only post more, but to stand out. That's where brand consistency comes into play. In order to become a trusted source for real estate information on the internet, consumers must first develop an understanding of what you have to offer, and that translates into recognition of your content and your value proposition. 
 
Follow these guidelines as you work toward creating a strong brand with a loyal following:
 
Build a trustworthy brand. To maintain consistency, you need to have a brand in the first place. Your brand should be based around a set of core values that consumers will be proud to stand behind. Take some time to decide what you are working toward in your business and what you hope to accomplish, and use these goals as a basis for your core values. Consumers should be able to understand your value proposition through your core values, as well. It is especially important that they are listed on your website and social media profiles. Any content you post should align with these set of values.
 
Use the same style throughout your digital content. If you look at what big brand names have to offer in their marketing, you will find they rarely stray from a set of repetitive colors and styles in labeling and promotions, unless undergoing a significant redesign. There is a reason for this—automatic recognition. For example, you are most likely able to draw the Coca-Cola logo with your eyes closed, or spot a Target advertisement the minute one appears on television. This is the same response you want when it comes to your social media content.
 
Build a following around the same striking and bold colors you plan to use in everything you post, and choose a font for your videos that stands out, but looks professional. These are the elements that should remain the same, regardless of which social media platform you are posting on. You can follow the same guidelines for hashtags. If you have a specific hashtag for a video series you promote, or for related photos, continue to use them in future posts if relevant. The idea is to attach those hashtags to your brand, and eventually incentivize your audience to begin using them in your favor to extend your reach.
 
Share valuable content and post consistently. Part of building a brand and being recognized is providing a service that your audience can rely on. If you promised to deliver a weekly series on staging a home, then you have to uphold that promise by continuing to post relevant, quality content on a consistent basis. (Not to say that you can never post unrelated content, but the idea is to become known for something.) You want your audience to say, "I know an agent that posts a great series on YouTube every Monday." You can also post during specific times of the day to increase number of views and further reassure your audience that they can depend on your posts. 
 
It's okay to vary your content depending on social platform. While it's important to remain consistent on a single social media platform, such as Facebook, that does not equate to posting the same content on other channels, such as Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. These applications each offer their own unique advantages. Your Twitter audience is going to expect abbreviations and shortened phrases, because that is what the platform is meant for. Your Instagram followers are looking for more photos or videos than links to articles. Keep in mind that each social media channel works differently. What should not change is your consistency. If you have a video series that goes out every Monday on YouTube, keep posting on Mondays. On Instagram, you might feature a #ThrowbackThursday photo every week instead. 
 
Following these guidelines can help you stand out among the thousands of REALTORS® marketing on social media. Brand consistency is a great way to eliminate the chance of your audience confusing you with another agent. It's also an effective marketing tool for garnering more subscribers to your channels, and therefore increasing chances of obtaining referral business.
 
Find more social media strategies, tips and trends in RISMedia's Social Skills series.
 
Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at ldominguez@rismedia.com.
" ["preview"]=> string(262) "
Posting on social media a few times per week may not be as effective as it once was without the right marketing" ["link"]=> string(65) "http://rismedia.com/cs/{ID}/{AffiliateID}/{SubscriberID}/{ItemID}" ["type"]=> string(4) "item" } } array(2) { ["ItemsNewsletters"]=> array(5) { ["item_id"]=> string(5) "97426" ["newsletter_id"]=> string(5) "26087" ["section_id"]=> string(10) "Section_01" ["item_type"]=> string(4) "item" ["zone"]=> string(7) "Stories" } ["Item"]=> array(7) { ["id"]=> string(5) "97426" ["subject"]=> string(65) "2018: Home Decor Trends: 6 Interior Design Ideas for Your Bedroom" ["authors"]=> string(11) "By Ed Davis" ["data"]=> string(8126) "Editor's Note: This was originally published on RISMedia's blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin' now at blog.rismedia.com: Your bedroom should be the coziest place in your home—a personal getaway where you can relax, re-energize and be yourself. There's nothing better than coming home after a long day to a luxurious, comfortable space.
 
We can expect some great bedroom design trends in 2018. With so many exciting, new ideas available, it's the perfect time to re-evaluate your bedroom style and make sure you're starting the year off in a space you love.
 
Tips for Transforming a Bedroom Into Your Personal Oasis
Before diving into the 2018 bedroom design trends, let's take a moment and review some best practices for approaching a bedroom redesign or remodel.
 
Whether you tackle the process yourself or work with a design build firm, there are a few things you should consider. Thinking about the above three points is an excellent place to begin your bedroom remodeling plans. It will certainly help you identify which of the newest bedroom trends will be a good fit for your space. 

2018 Bedroom Design Trends You'll Love
Are you ready to dive into the bedroom design trends we expect to see in 2018? There are a range of exciting new ideas we'll start to see in the bedroom and all throughout the home, but the following six trends are our personal favorites:
 
Moodier Palettes
Pantone recently released its color of the year. Any guesses on what it was?
 
The winner was "Ultra Violet," or more specifically, Pantone 18-3838. This bold shade is said to be invigorating yet cozy. It will set the tone for many of the color choices of 2018, including in the bedroom.
 
Overall, moodier, jewel-tone colors will be popular. One aspect of this I'm most intrigued by is tone-on-tone jewel palettes. This trend features one main hue paired with another similarly graded tone within that scheme. For example, painting your trim work and walls the same color to create a cozy yet modern feeling that's incredibly interesting.
 
If you're not feeling quite bold enough to spring for a dark, jewel-tone hue, consider using a calmer cousin color. For example, lavender is a nice watered-down version of Ultra Violet and has a softer, more feminine feel.
 
Brass Accent Pieces
Pairing brass accent pieces with jewel tones is a current trend. Many people are moving away from brushed silver and are replacing it with warm and subtle brass pieces.
 
There's something unexpected about using brass in your bedroom; however, the brass tone is universal enough to be paired with a variety of colors and is especially beautiful alongside moodier palettes.
 
Some of my favorite ways I've seen brass incorporated into the bedroom include: Wabi-Sabi
Another design aesthetic that's been catching fire is "Wabi-Sabi." This is the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection. Within design, this means incorporating more handmade and natural items into your space, allowing for an organic vibe.
 
Here are some great ideas to help inspire the Wabi-Sabi aesthetic in your bedroom: Creative Storage Pieces
Your storage pieces no longer need to be just practical. Today, statement storage is a must. Showcase your beautiful storage pieces, anything from dressers and bookshelves to side tables and media consoles. These pieces can and should be creative and beautiful, and they add to your overall bedroom design.
 
Mid-Century Everything
Mid-century modern design has become popular over the last few years and will continue to be a go-to style for homeowners. Adding touches of this retro style is a great way to bring a trendy yet comfortable feeling into your space.
 
Some of my favorite mid-century design ideas for the bedroom include: Bold Florals
Floral prints have always been popular, but this year we'll see them veer away from being incredibly feminine and more toward giving off an interesting, funky vibe. Think contrasting colors and casual, bohemian styling.
 
There are many ways to incorporate this trend in your bedroom, whether through unique floral patterned chairs or cushions, or a cozy duvet cover. If you're feeling especially wild, you can even add floral wallpaper to an accent wall.
 
Bring Your Vision to Life
In the midst of all these exciting new trends, remember that your bedroom should reflect your personality and be a place you enjoy spending time in. Whether you're interested in completely remodeling your bedroom or just want to refresh the overall look and feel of your space on a budget, you can implement these 2018 trends and turn your bedroom into a space you love.
 
Erin Davis is lead designer at Mosaik Design & Remodeling in Portland, Ore. For more information and tips, visit mosaikdesign.com. " ["preview"]=> string(464) "Your bedroom should be the coziest place in your home—a personal getaway where you can relax, re-energize and be yourself. There's nothing better than coming home after a long day to a luxurious, comfortable space. We can expect some great bedroom design trends in 2018. With so" ["link"]=> string(65) "http://rismedia.com/cs/{ID}/{AffiliateID}/{SubscriberID}/{ItemID}" ["type"]=> string(4) "item" } } array(2) { ["ItemsNewsletters"]=> array(5) { ["item_id"]=> string(5) "12392" ["newsletter_id"]=> string(5) "26087" ["section_id"]=> string(10) "Section_10" ["item_type"]=> string(4) "item" ["zone"]=> string(6) "Footer" } ["Item"]=> array(7) { ["id"]=> string(5) "12392" ["subject"]=> NULL ["authors"]=> string(0) "" ["data"]=> NULL ["preview"]=> string(327) "

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" ["link"]=> string(0) "" ["type"]=> string(4) "item" } } Today's Real Estate News - Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Today's Top Stories
Economic Forecast Hinges on Policy, Tax Reform
Impact of Teams: Join One, Start One or Compete Like One
How Savvy Real Estate Professionals Close More Sales With Real Estate IRAs
Great Spaces: Lyndon B. Johnson's Texas Hill Country Ranch
Social Skills: Maintaining a Consistent Brand Across Multiple Platforms
2018: Home Decor Trends: 6 Interior Design Ideas for Your Bedroom
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