array(2) { ["ItemsNewsletters"]=> array(5) { ["item_id"]=> string(5) "98323" ["newsletter_id"]=> string(5) "26364" ["section_id"]=> string(10) "Section_01" ["item_type"]=> string(4) "item" ["zone"]=> string(7) "Stories" } ["Item"]=> array(7) { ["id"]=> string(5) "98323" ["subject"]=> string(59) "Will the 'Facebook Apocalypse' Change Your Social Presence?" ["authors"]=> string(53) "By Patty McNease, Director of Marketing for Homes.com" ["data"]=> string(5002) "Just when you started to get a handle on your social strategy, Facebook is at it again, changing up their algorithms and making it more difficult for businesses to have a presence in people's news feeds. Until very recently, any engagement with a Facebook post, whether it was a like, share, or comment, would indicate interest and help your content show up for certain people. However, according to Adam Mosseri, Facebook's Head of News Feed, new algorithm changes will consider comments "more valuable than likes" and is "going to be (weighing) long comments more than short comments."
 
This new focus on "conversations and meaningful interactions" means many agents will need to completely revisit their Facebook strategies. You can either pay for sponsored posts and other Facebook advertising, or you can work the system and get your followers to show Facebook that they want to see your posts. This can be accomplished by actively commenting on your posts and by changing their settings regarding your page.
 
How to Get Your Facebook Audience to Engage
In a January 11 post, Chairman and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg explained that "As we roll this out, you'll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard—it should encourage meaningful interactions between people." According to Mosseri, these standards will be measured by the number and length of comments on your posts. Traditionally, you could ask followers to comment—it is important to note, however, Facebook will "demote these posts in News Feed." How do you get comments without asking for them? 
 
1. Ask questions.
People love to talk about themselves and share their opinions. To give your followers opportunities to do that, try asking leading questions. A leading question can be anything from "What's the best local coffee shop?" to "What's the one thing you wish you knew before you bought your first house?"
 
2. Share important news and milestones.
You've seen it before. When someone posts about getting married, having a baby, getting a new job, or graduating, the "Congratulations!" immediately start rolling in. Let your followers share in your big moments by sharing significant business moments and milestones with them. If you have time to hop on and do a live video, even better! Live videos tend to get a lot more discussion than uploaded videos.
 
3. Run contests.
In regards to contests, it is important to note that "like and share to win" the prize contests will not give you the results you are looking for. You want your contests to be fun and engaging, not boring and derivative. For example, you could say that the first three people to go to your website or Homes.com and find a home that meets certain criteria win. Have them post their listing in the comments. Just remember to look over your area's rules about contests and sweepstakes before you start.
 
"Following" Settings
 

 
Your followers can also indicate that they would like to see your posts by changing their "Following" settings for your page. Currently when someone likes a page on Facebook, that page is added with default settings that allow the algorithm to decide what posts to show when, and to whom. However, there's an algorithm trump card users can use to choose whose content they want to see in their news feeds.
 
Because your followers will have to go to your actual page rather than waiting for your post to pop up in their feed, this method will be most applicable to your most loyal brand advocates. Once you have a strong enough relationship with them, ask them to follow your content with the "See First" option so they never miss an update!
 
If keeping up with your social strategy is too much for you, let us help! Homes.com Social Fuel takes care of your social strategy by providing you with everything from account setup, post creation, engagement, and Facebook Ad management. We will even monitor your online reputation and monitor how your business ranks in search results so you can focus on selling real estate. 
 
For more information, please visit connect.homes.com" ["preview"]=> string(486) "Just when you started to get a handle on your social strategy, Facebook is at it again, changing up their algorithms and making it more difficult for businesses to have a presence in people's news feeds. Until very recently, any engagement with a Facebook post, whether it was a like , share, or comment, would" ["link"]=> string(65) "http://rismedia.com/cs/{ID}/{AffiliateID}/{SubscriberID}/{ItemID}" ["type"]=> string(4) "item" } } array(2) { ["ItemsNewsletters"]=> array(5) { ["item_id"]=> string(5) "98322" ["newsletter_id"]=> string(5) "26364" ["section_id"]=> string(10) "Section_01" ["item_type"]=> string(4) "item" ["zone"]=> string(7) "Stories" } ["Item"]=> array(7) { ["id"]=> string(5) "98322" ["subject"]=> string(63) "Create a Lucrative Business With What's Right Beneath Your Feet" ["authors"]=> string(16) "By Brian Buffini" ["data"]=> string(4238) "One of my favorite books is "Acres of Diamonds," by Russell Conwell. Although it was first published in 1890, the lessons it covers prove just as true today as when Conwell first presented them more than a century ago.
 
At its heart is the parable of a wealthy man named Ali Hafed who lived near the Indus River in present-day Iraq. Hafed was "contented because he was wealthy, and wealthy because he was contented."
 
But all that changed one day when he was told about diamonds and their immense value. Determined to find the diamonds he'd heard about, he sold his farm and left his family to go in search of them. In the end, however, he was unable to find any, and he threw himself into the sea, penniless and exhausted.
 
Meanwhile, the man who bought his farm discovered a sparkling stone in a stream on the land. The stone turned out to be a diamond; Hafed's farm was on top of a diamond mine all along.
 
Here are five lessons from Conwell's story that will help us unearth the diamonds beneath our feet:
 
1. Opportunity is in your backyard. Many of us believe that in order to be successful, we have to do extraordinary things. In reality, you just have to know where to look. Start with where you are and what you have. Find the best in what's around you and believe in the great opportunities available on your doorstep. We often overlook the real value of something because we're familiar with it, so we must retrain ourselves to look and think about the familiar in new ways. 
 
2. Build relationships. A century ago, Americans believed the American Dream no longer existed. Business leaders complained to Conwell that they couldn't succeed and build wealth in their own town. Conwell asked them about the relationships they'd nurtured and whether they knew who their neighbors were and what they wanted or needed. Everything you need to succeed in business and life comes from who you already know. Relationships are at the heart of success; therefore, you must invest in the relationships closest to you.
 
3. Pay attention. Pay close attention to what your customer wants. Many businesses fail because we assume we know what our clients need instead of asking them or observing their needs. Conwell said, "We must know what the world needs first, then invest ourselves to supply that need, and success is almost certain."
 
4. Money is not the root of all evil. When you achieve success, people may make judgments about your character or criticize you, wondering, "Can you be rich and still be a good person?" Of course you can! In fact, according to Conwell, you can do more good with money than without it. When you achieve wealth and success, do some good in the world.
 
5. Greatness is found everywhere. According to Conwell, "Greatness consists not in the holding of some future office, but in doing great deeds with little means, and the accomplishment of vast purposes from the private ranks of life." If you want to achieve greatness, begin with who and where you are.
 
Brian Buffini was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, and immigrated to San Diego in 1986, where he became the classic American rags to riches story. After becoming one of the nation's top REALTORS®, he founded Buffini & Company, an organization dedicated to sharing his powerful lead-generation systems with others. Based in Carlsbad, Calif., Buffini & Company has trained over 3 million business professionals in 37 countries and currently coaches more than 25,000 business people across North America. Today, Brian's a New York Times best-selling author and reaches over 1 million listeners a year through his popular "Brian Buffini Show" podcast. For more information, pick up a copy of his latest book "The Emigrant Edge," or visit www.buffiniandcompany.com" ["preview"]=> string(258) "
One of my favorite books is "Acres of Diamonds," by Russell Conwell. Although it was first published in 1890, the lesson" ["link"]=> string(65) "http://rismedia.com/cs/{ID}/{AffiliateID}/{SubscriberID}/{ItemID}" ["type"]=> string(4) "item" } } array(2) { ["ItemsNewsletters"]=> array(5) { ["item_id"]=> string(5) "98321" ["newsletter_id"]=> string(5) "26364" ["section_id"]=> string(10) "Section_01" ["item_type"]=> string(4) "item" ["zone"]=> string(7) "Stories" } ["Item"]=> array(7) { ["id"]=> string(5) "98321" ["subject"]=> string(36) "Regulatory Relief Bill Passes Senate" ["authors"]=> string(16) "By Liz Dominguez" ["data"]=> string(5830) "Following the financial crisis of 2008 and the Great Recession, the federal government imposed regulations in the form of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act—an effort to ensure financial stability and consumer protection.
 
Senate Banking Committee Chair Mike Crapo introduced bill S. 2155—the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act—which proposes to roll back these regulations and ease restrictions on regional banks, allowing consumers easier access to credit. The Senate passed the bill in a 67-31 vote on Wednesday, receiving full Republican support and splitting the Democratic party. The bill is now moving to the House to be reconciled before heading to the President's desk.
 
The real estate industry has been vocal since the bill's introduction. The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) supports the proposed changes:
 
"The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act contains some favorable provisions for the housing industry, including expanding Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's use of alternative credit scoring models; holding Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, loans more accountable; and improving access to manufactured housing, as well as easing credit through reduced regulatory burdens on smaller community banks and credit unions," said NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall in a statement.
 
Meanwhile, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) sent a letter to committee members last week also supporting the bill, and applauded the Senate for the passing vote.
 
"I want to commend Chairman Crapo and the bipartisan coalition of senators that worked for months to ensure the passage of this important piece of legislation," said David H. Stevens, president and CEO of the MBA, in a statement. "This bill will further ensure consumer protections and adequate access to mortgage credit…MBA now calls on the House to swiftly take up this bill for consideration."
 
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) also supports the bill, but believes it is only the start to a necessary regulatory change.
 
"The first year of Donald Trump's presidency has seen major progress on efforts to reduce the relentless and costly over-regulation of American industry," said Randy Noel, NAHB chairman, in a statement. "However, while much has been accomplished, the hefty price homebuyers are paying for government regulations represents just one more obstacle that home builders need to overcome in restoring the marketplace to normal conditions."
 
In addition, the Independent Community Bankers of America believes any pushback on the bill is caused by a lack of understanding. The group is attempting to clarify any misconceptions about how the bill would impact Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) reporting.
 
"It's time to clear up some of the misinformation that is spreading about S. 2155—it does not at all affect longstanding and already-detailed Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data-collection requirements," ICBA President and CEO Camden R. Fine said in a statement. "Those community banks that have been required to collect and report HMDA data on covered mortgage loans will continue to do so, and report on an annual basis as they did for decades until the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau dramatically expanded reporting mandates in 2015. S. 2155 takes a common-sense approach to ensure necessary data will continue to be reported without overburdening low-volume lenders."
 
What changes would this bring? The biggest impact would be seen in the designation of a Systemically Important Financial Institution (SIFI), of which the threshold would rise from $250 billion in assets from the current $50 billion. According to Business Insider, this change would recategorize multiple large regional banks, dropping the current banks impacted by strict SIFI restrictions from 38 to 12. 
 
In addition, the bill proposes the following modifications: "REALTORS® believe that financial regulations need to be balanced with appropriate consumer protections, and we believe this bill achieves that goal; we urge Congress and the administration to enact S. 2155 into law," said Mendenhall.
 
Stay tuned to RISMedia for more developments.
 
Liz Dominguez is RISMedia's associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at ldominguez@rismedia.com.
" ["preview"]=> string(286) "
Following the financial crisis of 2008 and the Great Recession, the federal government imposed regulations in the form of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street" ["link"]=> string(65) "http://rismedia.com/cs/{ID}/{AffiliateID}/{SubscriberID}/{ItemID}" ["type"]=> string(4) "item" } } array(2) { ["ItemsNewsletters"]=> array(5) { ["item_id"]=> string(5) "98320" ["newsletter_id"]=> string(5) "26364" ["section_id"]=> string(10) "Section_01" ["item_type"]=> string(4) "item" ["zone"]=> string(7) "Stories" } ["Item"]=> array(7) { ["id"]=> string(5) "98320" ["subject"]=> string(44) "Consumer Experience Shifts to Text: Research" ["authors"]=> string(19) "By Suzanne De Vita " ["data"]=> string(2786) "From inquiry to sale, communicating with consumers throughout the process is vital. According to recent research out of Ellie Mae®, the financing industry platform, communication preferences are shifting to text. 
 
"Consumers have been telling us that text messaging is well suited for their on-the-go, digital lives," said Nick Hedges, senior vice president, Consumer Engagement Strategy at Ellie Mae, in a statement, "and while consumers expressed a nearly universal expectation for text communications from sellers, there were a number of surprises regarding the appropriateness of texting them for different reasons."
 
Ellie Mae's "Great TEXTpectations: The Text Messaging Playbook for Sellers," contains those findings, as well as insight from more than 500 consumers and 350 professionals in sales. The highlights:
 
The consumer experience can be streamlined with text, but only if properly used. Just 29 percent of the consumers who participated in the research believe it is appropriate to get promotional texts, 26 percent believe it is appropriate to get a "Happy Birthday" text, and 19 percent believe it is appropriate to get a "just to say hello" text. Consumers did, however, express an interest in receiving appointment/deadline reminder texts.
 
"Sales professionals have a tremendous opportunity to improve engagement and outcomes by integrating and synchronizing text with other communication channels," Hedges said. "They can deliver a more optimal consumer experience by aligning text use and other efforts to individualized preferences."
 
There are barriers for professionals, the research shows. There are compliance concerns (cited by 56 percent of professionals surveyed), in addition to lacking options regarding technology (50 percent) and a hesitance to employ a personal phone in the process (34 percent).
 
"Though it has a long way to go, the widespread upward trend of preference for text raises the possibility that text might someday become the preferred method of communication," said Hedges, "but for the foreseeable future, consumers prefer text on a situational basis and there is no contact strategy that is one-size-fits-all."
 
Source: Ellie Mae® 
 
Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia's online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at sdevita@rismedia.com." ["preview"]=> string(305) "
From inquiry to sale, communicating with consumers throughout the process is vital. According to recent research out of Ellie Mae®, the financing industry platform" ["link"]=> string(65) "http://rismedia.com/cs/{ID}/{AffiliateID}/{SubscriberID}/{ItemID}" ["type"]=> string(4) "item" } } array(2) { ["ItemsNewsletters"]=> array(5) { ["item_id"]=> string(5) "98319" ["newsletter_id"]=> string(5) "26364" ["section_id"]=> string(10) "Section_01" ["item_type"]=> string(4) "item" ["zone"]=> string(7) "Stories" } ["Item"]=> array(7) { ["id"]=> string(5) "98319" ["subject"]=> string(45) "NAR Advocates for Mortgage Forgiveness Relief" ["authors"]=> string(0) "" ["data"]=> string(3237) "The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) is advocating for mortgage forgiveness relief, recommending that the mortgage forgiveness debt exclusion be made permanent in a recent testimony before the U.S. House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Tax Policy. 
 
"The exclusion for mortgage debt cancellation delivers a huge dose of fairness," said Barry Grooms, 2018 vice president of Florida Realtors®, who testified on NAR's behalf. "When the investment in a home goes well, and the owner sells at a gain, the tax code generously waives capital gains up to $500,000—but what happens when things go sour, equity is lost and the family is forced to sell short? Up through last year, the exclusion stepped in and relieved the often-impossible tax burden. If allowed to expire, we are left with a tax policy that rewards good fortune but piles on when the tables are turned. This is neither fair nor smart."
 
NAR has long advocated for mortgage forgiveness tax relief, policy that was first established in 2007 at the onset of the housing and economic downturn and that has expired and been extended several times; most recently, early in 2018, it was retroactively extended to cover 2017. Without the exclusion, the debt that lenders forgive is considered taxable income and adds a tax burden at a time when an individual or family has experienced a true economic loss. NAR believes most of these people are already in financial distress and likely unable to pay additional taxes.
 
While the home equity situation in America is much better today and the volume of short sales and foreclosures has receded from record highs, there are still about 2.5 million homes underwater, according to industry data. This is down considerably from the downturn, when as many as a quarter of mortgaged homes in the U.S. had negative equity. Nonetheless, there are still a significant number of individuals struggling to keep up with their mortgage payments, and the exclusion is vital for lessening the financial impacts of a foreclosure, short sale or loan restructure and saving distressed families from a dire hardship.
 
In his testimony, Grooms urged Congress to make mortgage cancellation relief a permanent provision since the exclusion has already expired, leaving the future of troubled borrowers in serious doubt. 
 
"Cases of negative home equity will ebb and flow as well, even with a stronger economy," Grooms said. "This is why we need a permanent exclusion to minimize the damage to families, neighborhoods and communities."
 
Additional information on NAR's mortgage debt cancellation tax relief efforts is available at www.nar.realtor/topics/mortgage-debt-cancellation-relief
 
For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor" ["preview"]=> string(292) "
The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) is advocating for mortgage forgiveness relief, recommending that the mortgage forgiveness debt exclusion" ["link"]=> string(65) "http://rismedia.com/cs/{ID}/{AffiliateID}/{SubscriberID}/{ItemID}" ["type"]=> string(4) "item" } } array(2) { ["ItemsNewsletters"]=> array(5) { ["item_id"]=> string(5) "98318" ["newsletter_id"]=> string(5) "26364" ["section_id"]=> string(10) "Section_01" ["item_type"]=> string(4) "item" ["zone"]=> string(7) "Stories" } ["Item"]=> array(7) { ["id"]=> string(5) "98318" ["subject"]=> string(41) "Top Cities to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day" ["authors"]=> string(16) "By Jameson Doris" ["data"]=> string(2475) "Editor's Note: This was originally published on RISMedia's blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin' now at blog.rismedia.com: St. Patrick's Day is this weekend! As you make plans for this weekend with friends, WalletHub has released a helpful list of the top cities in the country to celebrate the Irish holiday. 
 
Drawing from a pool of the 200 largest cities in the U.S., the site compiled this list by comparing the locations across 17 metrics. These key metrics range from whether or not the city has a St. Patrick's Day parade to the number of Irish pubs located in its limits. You can check out a full breakdown of WalletHub's methodology here. Below are the 20 best cities to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in: 
 
1. Chicago, Ill.
2. Boston, Mass.
3. Philadelphia, Pa.
4. Buffalo, N.Y.
5. New York, N.Y.
6. San Francisco, Calif.
7. Fort Collins, Colo.
8. Tampa, Fla.
9. Madison, Wis.
10. Pittsburgh, Pa.
11. St. Louis, Mo.
12. Henderson, Nev.
13. Naperville, Ill.
14. Reno, Nev.
15. Seattle, Wash.
16. Omaha, Neb.
17. Columbus, Ohio
18. Rochester, N.Y.
19. Syracuse, N.Y.
20. Fort Wayne, Ind.
 
Some of the cities on this list are not obvious choices, such as St. Louis, Mo. and Fort Wayne, Ind. Others, like Boston, Mass. and Chicago, Ill., where they dye the Chicago River green, just make sense.
 
Jameson Doris is RISMedia's blog and social media editor. Email him your real estate news ideas at jdoris@rismedia.com" ["preview"]=> string(509) "St. Patrick's Day is this weekend! As you make plans for this weekend with friends, WalletHub has released a helpful list of the top cities in the country to celebrate the Irish holiday. Drawing from a pool of the 200 largest cities in the U.S., the site compiled this list by comparing the locations across 17" ["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) "26364" ["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 - Friday, March 16, 2018
Today's Top Stories
Will the 'Facebook Apocalypse' Change Your Social Presence?
Create a Lucrative Business With What's Right Beneath Your Feet
Regulatory Relief Bill Passes Senate
Consumer Experience Shifts to Text: Research
NAR Advocates for Mortgage Forgiveness Relief
Top Cities to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day
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