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Top comments of the week March 13-17, 2017


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Representing LGBT homebuyers

John J Graff · Commented on Housing policy summit tackled LGBT Fair Housing and equality

Housing discrimination against the LGBT community is more pervasive than many realize. Based on a major national study, 48% of older same-sex couples face discrimination when they apply for senior housing. And in 2013, a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development study found that there is “significant evidence that discrimination exists against same-sex couples in the initial stages of the search for electronically advertised rental housing in metropolitan America”.

And personally, I can tell you that I struggle frequently with how best to handle “letters to the seller” when I am representing LGBT buyers. It’s common nature to include details about your family in these letters, but as a gay real estate agent [representing] LGBT clients, it is always a difficult decision on how best to write this letter without opening up my clients to possible discrimination. I’m sure my heterosexual colleagues have never encountered or even thought about this, yet it is a very real part of my business and a very real part of buying a home for LGBT consumers.

A house for every buyer

Colleen Adsit Stoltz · Commented on 3 lessons agents can learn from the Girl Scouts/a>

Thin Mints, Somoas, Tagalongs, Do-si-Dos… just like the Girl Scout going door to door, top real estate agents can find the right product for their clients!!

Karen Gebhardt Briscoe · Commented on 3 lessons agents can learn from the Girl Scouts/a>

Great way to think about a house for every buyer is like a cookie variety for every buyer!

Removing the desk between agent and client

Daniel Bates · Commented on Do some business models make bad real estate agents?

When everyone was saying that print was dead, I doubled down and created a company magazine. When they were all going virtual, I doubled down bought a brick and mortar. The two have made a huge difference for my business, but it totally depends on your market. Now I’m ready for a remodel of the office and turning the stuffy board room that we never use into a comfortable place to review and sign listing agreements where we don’t have a desk between the agent and the client.

Serving buyers since 1992

Eve Alexander · Commented on Why an NYC listing agent became a buyer’s broker

I have been an exclusive Buyers Broker since 1992 when it was not considered acceptable and traditional agents did everything they could to put exclusive buyer brokers out of business. They did not allow showings, refused to present offers, spit on us, did not pay co-op fees, flattened our tires and threw bricks at our office, just to name a few. One exclusive buyers broker in Sarasota had her office firebombed.

Only the strong survived. Even today, there are those uneducated agents that think we work only buyers because we cannot get listings…ha!

The reality is that it takes somone with advanced education, superior knowledge and grit that very few agents qualify for. It is not a job for somone who worries about what others think or hopes that the agent and seller will like them. It is not about double dipping or telling two parties (buyer and seller) with opposing interests that you can represent both.

It is about believing that a buyer’s best interest is served when there is no conflict of interest. It is about providing 100% loyalty, 100% confidentiality and 100% full disclosure only to the buyer and ignoring a listing, seller representation or the liability ot true buyer brokerage.

Last but not least, lets not confuse a traditional agent practicing occasional buyer representation with the very narrow niche of exclusive buyer representation….where the office does not list homes. The difference is like day and night.

Reflections from a night owl

Adriana Bartlett Gray · Commented on It’s time to reclaim your bedroom from real estate

Interesting article. A few areas I want to comment on. As someone who looks at trends of the current and future, it’s obvious that our world is becoming more and more 24×7. I’m not saying that you never need to sleep, but some of us actually choose to work non-traditional working hours. So, when the study shows that 87% of people checked their phones between 12-5am, I wonder what percentage of those people keep working hours that either extend past 12am or start before 5am. I happen to be a night owl and often work unti 2am or later. On the flip side, I have colleagues that start their day at 4am. When I worked in Information Technology, I used to do a split-shift (by my choice) so that I would be available to colleagues in the SF Bay Area for half the day and contractors who worked for me in the middle of my night in India. So, we have to take into account what a global economy means to ‘normal’ sleep/work patterns. I know that many people already work to accommodate global hours and what I see in the future is something that may be hard to swallow for a lot of people… not 6-8 hours of sleep all at once, but two 3-4 hour sleep shifts during a single 24-hour day. Is this something bad or is this evolution?

As for having the phone in your bedroom… Well, I DEFINITELY agree that you MUST turn your phone off or on sleep mode while sleeping. In fact, I tell my clients they can feel free to call me ANY time without fear of disrupting me because I do ALWAYS turn off my phone when sleeping. But, keep it out of the room? Let’s get real. Most of us use our phones as our alarm clocks now. And, for me and many others, we use the flashlight on our phones to come in and out of the bedroom to accommodate those weird work hours without disturbing our spouses. I don’t consider myself an excessive cell phone user. Honestly, my eyesight is too bad to use even the largest of cell phone except for simple tasks. And, that’s with readers on. I have an IPad, but you’ll most commonly find me on my laptop w/a 17 inch+ screen in my home office.

Top comments are compiled by Inman’s editorial staff in no particular order.

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