array(2) { ["ItemsNewsletters"]=> array(5) { ["item_id"]=> string(5) "98686" ["newsletter_id"]=> string(5) "26482" ["section_id"]=> string(10) "Section_01" ["item_type"]=> string(4) "item" ["zone"]=> string(7) "Stories" } ["Item"]=> array(7) { ["id"]=> string(5) "98686" ["subject"]=> string(52) "NAR Launches New Branding for First Time in 45 Years" ["authors"]=> string(18) "By Maria Patterson" ["data"]=> string(6369) "Announces New Tech-Focused Event for August
 
To help illustrate the new chapter being written in its more than 100-year-old history, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) on Monday revealed a new visual identity designed to make its iconic brand and "block R" logo more multi-dimensional, dynamic and future-focused.




"It's a new day and a new dawn at NAR and this reflects our vision of rebirth and change," said NAR CEO Bob Goldberg in an exclusive interview with RISMedia. "The block R logo was designed in 1973 and we felt it was time to modernize. We want the new brand to help us convey the changes of what the new NAR is all about and what the REALTOR® brand means to consumers."
 
Redesigned for the first time in 45 years, the newly evolved mark and logo, referred to as a "new dimension," leverages many of the recognizable elements of the REALTOR® mark, such as the blue color palette, but moves the logo from a flat, two-dimensional image to a contemporary 3-D cube, symbolizing the "new dimension" at NAR and the multi-dimensional relationships REALTORS® have with consumers.
 
"As we tried to reimagine our REALTOR® R, we thought about the people behind the brand—the human beings who are making the real estate transaction happen," explained Goldberg. "Consumers trust our members and our brand represents trust. We don't ever want to lose sight of the fact that the human factor makes the brand what it is."
 
"NAR and its members have always understood that real estate is, and always will be, a people-focused business," said NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall, a sixth-generation REALTOR® from Columbia, Mo. "The evolution of the REALTOR® brand reinforces who we are as an organization—an unrivaled advocate and trusted resource in real estate, growing and adapting to the changing demographics and needs of today's buyers, sellers and investors. It expresses the role that REALTORS® play in a meaningful and deeply emotional milestone in life, and more than simply a transaction, we are helping clients achieve their hopes and dreams."
 
The new logo also features a slightly redrawn but still very recognizable "R" letterform and a bold san-serif typography for the association name, which not only modernizes the overall look, but makes the branding more social-media friendly, as well. Members will be able to begin using the new branding in June of this year, with a deadline of year-end 2019 to have full implementation in place.
 
According to Goldberg, the evolved branding reflects NAR's wide-sweeping goals for the future. "The time is now. This is not about moving NAR forward—it's about moving our industry forward. Technology, shifting market conditions and consumers are reshaping the real estate industry at a breakneck pace; and when I became NAR's CEO last fall, I vowed to lead the association into the future and ensure that our members can compete and thrive in a dynamic marketplace. The new brand embodies the association's rich history, but better reflects our forward-thinking focus and how we'll stay ahead of industry evolution and disruption and continue to lead the real estate industry in the years ahead."
 
To that end, Goldberg also announced the launch of a brand new, technology-focused event taking place this August in Northern California: The Innovation, Opportunity and Investment Summit, powered by NAR and its strategic investment arm Second Century Ventures.
 
"This event is about promoting the inclusiveness of a larger tent," explained Goldberg. "[Big tech] companies are coming into real estate regardless. I want to make the tent bigger so that NAR is a facilitator and a partner with these companies, not the builder. That's a sea change for us. That new path is conveyed in our new brand—it's a new dimension for us."
 
NAR worked with Conran Design Group, a global branding and design firm headquartered in New York and London, where it originated over 60 years ago, to evolve the association's brand identity and mark; Conran has worked with numerous other recognizable brands, including Coca-Cola, P&G, Pfizer, Nestle, Rolls-Royce and Shell. During the nearly yearlong  process, Conran conducted extensive research, beginning with an extensive brand audit and numerous stakeholder interviews. They also conducted statistically valid surveys of consumers and REALTORS®, and worked with a sounding board of members and NAR's leadership team throughout. In early June, NAR will begin the brand transition process across its communications, as well as initiate the external brand roll-out of brand guidelines and downloadable artwork to its more than 1,200 affiliated local and state associations of REALTORS® and its 1.3 million members.
 
The original "block R" logo was first adopted in 1973, when the association changed its name from the National Association of Real Estate Boards to the National Association of REALTORS®. The membership mark is recognized globally and identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the association and subscribes to its strict code of ethics. Not all real estate agents are REALTORS®, and only those who join the association can call themselves a REALTOR® and use the membership mark.
 
For more information, please visit www.nar.realtor
 
Maria Patterson is RISMedia's executive editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at maria@rismedia.com." ["preview"]=> string(532) "To help illustrate the new chapter being written in its more than 100-year-old history, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) on Monday revealed a new visual identity designed to make its iconic brand and "block R" logo more multi-dimensional, dynamic and future-focused. "It's a new day and a new dawn at NAR and this reflects our" ["link"]=> string(65) "http://rismedia.com/cs/{ID}/{AffiliateID}/{SubscriberID}/{ItemID}" ["type"]=> string(4) "item" } } array(2) { ["ItemsNewsletters"]=> array(5) { ["item_id"]=> string(5) "98685" ["newsletter_id"]=> string(5) "26482" ["section_id"]=> string(10) "Section_01" ["item_type"]=> string(4) "item" ["zone"]=> string(7) "Stories" } ["Item"]=> array(7) { ["id"]=> string(5) "98685" ["subject"]=> string(45) "Confidence in Housing Jumps at Spring's Start" ["authors"]=> string(17) "By RISMedia Staff" ["data"]=> string(1540) "Confidence in housing jumped in March in the Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI), with the HPSI overall posting 88.3, 2.5 percentage points higher than one month prior and 3.8 percentage points higher than one year prior.
 
The boost was fueled by homebuyers preparing for real estate season this spring, says Doug Duncan, chief economist and senior vice president at Fannie Mae. The amount of buyers who believe now is a good time to purchase leapt to 32 percent—a 10-percentage point surge.
 
"The HPSI's recent run of volatility continued in March, as it recovered last month's loss and remained within the five-point range of the past 12 months," Duncan says. "The primary driver of this month's increase was the sizable rise in the net share of consumers who think it's a good time to buy a home, which returned the indicator to its year-ago level. On the whole, a slight majority of consumers continue to express optimism regarding the overall direction of the economy."
 
The amount of homeowners who believe now is a good time to sell shimmied up, as well, three percentage points to 39 percent. Across consumers, 42 percent believe home prices will rise, down three percentage points from one month prior.
 
The HPSI is derived from Fannie Mae's National Housing Survey® (NHS).
 
Source: Fannie Mae " ["preview"]=> string(298) "
Confidence in housing jumped in March in the Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI), with the HPSI overall posting 88.3, 2.5 percentage" ["link"]=> string(65) "http://rismedia.com/cs/{ID}/{AffiliateID}/{SubscriberID}/{ItemID}" ["type"]=> string(4) "item" } } array(2) { ["ItemsNewsletters"]=> array(5) { ["item_id"]=> string(5) "98684" ["newsletter_id"]=> string(5) "26482" ["section_id"]=> string(10) "Section_01" ["item_type"]=> string(4) "item" ["zone"]=> string(7) "Stories" } ["Item"]=> array(7) { ["id"]=> string(5) "98684" ["subject"]=> string(40) "Social Skills: Facebook User Safety Tips" ["authors"]=> string(16) "By Jameson Doris" ["data"]=> string(4853) "Editor's Note: This was originally published on RISMedia's blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin' now at blog.rismedia.com: Facebook has quite a problem on its hands…
 
It seems like every day we wake up to new developments concerning the privacy of millions of Facebook users in the U.S., and none of the news is good. Most recently, Facebook revealed that Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm, was able to gain unauthorized access to at least 87 million users' data—much higher than the 50 million users that were originally reported.
 
Additionally, Mike Schroepfer, chief technology officer at Facebook, revealed in a release that "most people on Facebook" should assume that they've had their public information scraped. 
 
"Malicious actors have also abused these features to scrape public profile information by submitting phone numbers or email addresses they already have through search and account recovery," Schroepfer stated.
 
The company has long been able to police itself, but now it appears that government regulations are in the site's future; however, if you're a real estate professional who currently uses Facebook, it may be unwise to wait until this occurs. Be proactive and consider the following privacy and safety tips to avoid having your personal information used in unwanted ways:
 
Remove personal information. An obvious first step. This may be a case of too little, too late, but it's still a wise decision to take your personal email and phone number off your Facebook page immediately. Many people also have their home addresses and birth dates set as publicly accessible information. Take the time to remove these from your account or edit this content so that only your friends can view it.
 
Don't use Facebook to log on to other sites. Taking the time to set up a new account can be a hassle, especially if you have the option to just click "Sign up with Facebook or Twitter account." Most folks choose the easier option instead of filling out their email, full name, etc. Stop doing this. Start creating accounts from scratch and stop spreading your personal Facebook information across the internet.
 
Control who sees your posts. As with your personal information, there are settings to control who can view what's on your Facebook timeline. Whenever you upload a photo, check in at a location or make a new status, there have always been three main drop-down options for who can view your post: Only me, Public and Friends. There are now two additional choices: Friends except… (don't show to some friends) and Specific friends (only show to some friends). Always consider who you want to be able to view your Facebook post.
 
Remove apps that you don't use. The Better Business Bureau suggests deleting apps and games that you don't currently use, especially those that you don't recognize or remember ever downloading. This is just another safety precaution to keep your information out of the wrong person's hands.
 
Of course, be sure to carefully check what your privacy settings are and judge for yourself if they need some tweaking. Also, here is an excellent article that outlines how to physically change 18 important privacy settings on your Facebook account, from hiding something on your timeline to restricting others from reposting your photos and posts. 
 
In the wake of this Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal, everyone should be more diligent about how they approach safety on the site.
 
Jameson Doris is RISMedia's blog and social media editor. Email him your real estate news ideas at jdoris@rismedia.com" ["preview"]=> string(310) "
Facebook has quite a problem on its hands…It seems like every day we wake up to new developments concerning the privacy of millions of Facebook users" ["link"]=> string(65) "http://rismedia.com/cs/{ID}/{AffiliateID}/{SubscriberID}/{ItemID}" ["type"]=> string(4) "item" } } array(2) { ["ItemsNewsletters"]=> array(5) { ["item_id"]=> string(5) "98683" ["newsletter_id"]=> string(5) "26482" ["section_id"]=> string(10) "Section_01" ["item_type"]=> string(4) "item" ["zone"]=> string(7) "Stories" } ["Item"]=> array(7) { ["id"]=> string(5) "98683" ["subject"]=> string(62) "Review: How Samsung's Galaxy Performs in the Real Estate World" ["authors"]=> string(16) "By Liz Dominguez" ["data"]=> string(4432) "Editor's Note: This was originally published on RISMedia's blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin' now at blog.rismedia.com: It's that time of year again. New commercials are rolling out and everyone's itching to get their hands on the latest release of their beloved cell phone, whether that be Apple's iPhone, Samsung's Galaxy, Google's Pixel or others. Samsung isn't releasing its newest entrant—Galaxy Note 9—until late summer at the very earliest, but the other two models—Galaxy S9 and S9+—are now available for purchase. So, what do these phones offer and how will it help your business? Here's what you need to know: 
 
The S9+ Boasts a Low-Light Camera
It's never a good idea to forgo professional photographs for your listings, but if you're in a pinch and need something temporary—or just want nice, inexpensive photos of your rental listings—Samsung's newest S9+ model really ups the camera game. Now with dual lens and dual aperture, this device is great at taking pictures in low-light scenarios. While the S9 can still take great pictures in low-light settings, the single rear sensor puts it behind its sister model. If the price tag is too steep, but you don't want to sacrifice a good shot, Google's five-inch Pixel 2 offers similar camera quality at a more affordable price point.
 
The Emoji Add-On May Help You Better Connect
Have you been working with a lot of first-time buyers? Since Gen Z members and millennials are practically tied to their phones, adding some lighthearted personality touches, like your own customized Emoji in text conversations, may help you better connect with these tech-centered generations. 
 
You Can Translate and Identify on the Spot
Samsung's cameras don't just take pictures. The newest models now have the capability to translate in real-time using the camera. If you work with bilingual or multilingual clients, this can come in handy if you're not fluent in other languages. The camera can also help identify places, items and foods. If your client is absolutely in love with a sofa they spotted in a home for sale, you can quickly identify where it can be purchased by floating your camera over it instead of pestering the listing agent.
 
The downsides? Definitely the cost. The S9 is selling for $719.99, with the S9+ at an even higher price point of $839.99—a bit more expensive than the previous models with only a few changes to software. However, it's still low when you look at the iPhone X's $999 price tag. When compared to the Google Pixel 2, it's pretty much in-line with the six-inch 2XL model, which is selling for $849.99.
 
Keep in mind that when it comes to battery life for the new Samsung devices, longevity falls short. So, keep a charger handy if you're a heavy mobile phone user. Of course, Samsung has been quiet about its upcoming Note 9 release, so you may want to hold off on upgrading just yet, as the new model may tackle these challenges and offer its own set of new capabilities. Apple's and Google's next releases are a bit further out—consumers can expect a fall release date from both companies.
 
Liz Dominguez is RISMedia's associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at ldominguez@rismedia.com." ["preview"]=> string(263) "
It's that time of year again. New commercials are rolling out and everyone's itching to get their hands on the latest" ["link"]=> string(65) "http://rismedia.com/cs/{ID}/{AffiliateID}/{SubscriberID}/{ItemID}" ["type"]=> string(4) "item" } } array(2) { ["ItemsNewsletters"]=> array(5) { ["item_id"]=> string(5) "98553" ["newsletter_id"]=> string(5) "26482" ["section_id"]=> string(10) "Section_01" ["item_type"]=> string(4) "item" ["zone"]=> string(7) "Stories" } ["Item"]=> array(7) { ["id"]=> string(5) "98553" ["subject"]=> string(41) "The Best Home Improvements? Look Outdoors" ["authors"]=> string(17) "By RISMedia Staff" ["data"]=> string(1362) "The best home improvements are the ones outside, according to the Appraisal Institute, an appraiser association, based on Remodeling magazine's Cost vs. Value Report. The improvements with the most return on investment (ROI) include adding a deck (wood), new siding and stone veneer. 
 
"The latest data shows that home improvements focused on the outside of a property are most likely to result in a positive cost-to-value ratio," says James L. Murrett, president of the Appraisal Institute. "However, spending money on renovations doesn't necessarily generate a dollar-for-dollar return. Bottom line: Cost doesn't necessarily equal value."
 
Homeowners should take into account how long they plan to stay, as well as neighborhood norms, Murrett recommends.
 
"Renovations that elevate a property well in excess of community norms are typically not worth the cost when the owner sells the home," Murrett says.
 
Homeowners may also want to consider a "feasibility study," in which an appraiser estimates the home's value before and after the completion of the project.
 
Source: Appraisal Institute" ["preview"]=> string(282) "
The best home improvements are the ones outside, according to the Appraisal Institute, an appraiser association, based on Remodeling magazine's Cost vs." ["link"]=> string(65) "http://rismedia.com/cs/{ID}/{AffiliateID}/{SubscriberID}/{ItemID}" ["type"]=> string(4) "item" } } array(2) { ["ItemsNewsletters"]=> array(5) { ["item_id"]=> string(5) "98682" ["newsletter_id"]=> string(5) "26482" ["section_id"]=> string(10) "Section_01" ["item_type"]=> string(4) "item" ["zone"]=> string(7) "Stories" } ["Item"]=> array(7) { ["id"]=> string(5) "98682" ["subject"]=> string(50) "How to Research Local Public Schools Before Moving" ["authors"]=> string(19) "By Hannah Whittenly" ["data"]=> string(3855) "Editor's Note: This was originally published on RISMedia's blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin' now at blog.rismedia.com: If you have kids and are considering moving, it's important to research the local public schools in your new community. This will help you find the best school for your children and give you a better idea of what to expect from the curriculum. Here are some important things that you should research about local public schools before moving:
 
Student-Teacher Ratio
You'll want to know how many teachers there are for the number of students who attend a particular school. The average student-teacher ratio in the U.S. is 16 to 1; however, you can find schools with even better ratios if you do the research. The more teachers there are for each of the students, the better the educational program will likely be. A school with a more favorable student-teacher ratio will make it easier for your children to receive individualized attention while learning.
 
Average Test Scores
Knowing the average test scores for each public school in your new community will help you determine the level of education that they provide. Schools with higher average test scores likely have more enriching programs and better teachers. Sending your children to a school with higher average test scores can also help them prepare better for college studies. Information on state education tests that test students in the areas of reading and math can also be found. GreatSchools.org notes, however, that state test scores don't always determine the richness of the curriculum of a particular school.
 
Extracurricular Activities
Schools that feature extracurricular activities can often give children a better-rounded education. Common extracurricular activities that may interest your children include sports, cheerleading and music practice. You can also choose a school that has a drama or foreign language club. Certain activities require students to maintain high grade point averages in order to participate. In addition to helping you find single-family homes for sale, your real estate agent can give you information on local schools that include all the right activities for your children.
 
Bullying Policy
Some schools have established bullying policies to limit harassment, intimidation and fighting among students. The definition of bullying in some schools has been expanded to include cyberbullying, malicious gossip and sexual harassment. These policies often specify the form of punishment that a student who's caught bullying will receive. Your children may also be given access to resources that they can utilize if they experience any bullying. You'll want to make sure that the teachers in a particular school have received the proper training to handle bullying.
 
You should make a point to learn about the local schools while you're searching for a home in a new community.
 
Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, Calif. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake." ["preview"]=> string(460) "If you have kids and are considering moving, it's important to research the local public schools in your new community. This will help you find the best school for your children and give you a better idea of what to expect from the curriculum. Here are some important things that you should" ["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) "26482" ["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 - Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Today's Top Stories
NAR Launches New Branding for First Time in 45 Years
Confidence in Housing Jumps at Spring's Start
Social Skills: Facebook User Safety Tips
Review: How Samsung's Galaxy Performs in the Real Estate World
The Best Home Improvements? Look Outdoors
How to Research Local Public Schools Before Moving
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