Understanding phrases like “energy-use benchmarking” and the ramifications of a recent ordinance passed in Chicago will make “going green” increasingly important to you and your clients, says one Chicago REALTOR® in the October issue of Illinois REALTOR® magazine.
Angela Aeschliman, the chief operating officer for Watermark Property Management in Chicago and a past president of the Northern Illinois Commercial Association of REALTORS®, says the Chicago ordinance creates new standards for property owners and managers of commercial, municipal and residential buildings, as well as anyone who buys or sells.
In June, owners/managers of buildings with more than 250,000 square feet submitted their first reports on energy consumption, water usage and greenhouse-gas emissions to the city. In June 2015, owners of buildings with between 50,000 and 250,000 square feet will provide similar reports. The data will be measured by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency software and must be verified by a licensed architect, engineer or other professional recognized by the city.
The city will be able to share individual building performances next June and Aeschliman says the information could increase competition for more energy-efficient properties. How quickly these concepts spread to suburban Chicago and the rest of the state will be watched closely by the IAR, local associations and their members.
Read the whole story, “The Growing Business of Going Green,” which includes client concerns about the costs of “going green.”
Getting your real estate firm’s message and brand out to the public — and potential clients — is critical for your long-term success.
In the January issue of Illinois REALTOR® magazine, marketing experts share their tips for using public relations, branding and social media strategies to build your commercial real estate business, but the tools apply to agents working on the residential side of the business too.
Why is it so important to develop a brand for your real estate business?
“We’re seeing a huge shift in behavior. Prospects used to reach out to you early in the sales cycle. Now they go to the Internet to conduct research and filter out options. They contact you later and are better informed. Success will increasingly go to REALTORS® with a brand that sells for them,” - George Krueger and Mary-Lynn Foster, co-founders BIGG Success.
Read more strategies from Krueger, Foster and others in this online Illinois REALTOR® article from commercial REALTOR® Alex Ruggieri, CCIM, SEC, MBA, GRI.
Beginning Jan. 10, 2014, mortgages backed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will have a few more qualifying requirements.
Earlier this week HUD released its final rules on what constitutes a “qualified mortgage” including:
- Require periodic payments without risky features;
- Have terms not to exceed 30 years;
- Limit upfront points and fees to no more than three percent with adjustments to facilitate smaller loans (except for Title I, Title II Manufactured Housing, Section 184,Section 184A loans and others as detailed below); and
- Be insured or guaranteed by FHA or HUD.
Read HUD’s release for more details.
In other headlines:
Fannie, Freddie suspend evictions for holidays – Chicago Tribune
Mortgage bankers not amused with HUD’s lower high-cost loan limit – HousingWire
The commercial real estate market saw modest growth in the third quarter of 2013, with leasing activity rising 2 percent from the previous quarter, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) latest commercial forecast. NAR’s REALTOR® Magazine has the details.
In other headlines:
LPS: Foreclosure inventory hits lowest level since 2008 – HousingWire
FHFA leadership shift could impact HARP eligibility – HousingWire
A number of tax-law changes could make 2013 a challenging year for commercial REALTORS® and others who are in upper-income tax brackets.
“These are probably the most significant tax law changes in my career,” said Chris Bird, a former IRS agent turned trainer who conducts more than 125 seminars a year for real estate and tax professionals nationwide.
Two federal mandates have created this new business environment: The American Tax Relief Act of 2012 and The Affordable Care Act of 2010 otherwise known as the federal health care bill. “Fiscal Cliff” negotiations have also added uncertainty and relief to the mix.
Learn about some tax breaks that have been extended through the end of 2013 as well as tax changes that could reduce the profit margin for commercial practitioners or upper-income earners in the April issue of Illinois REALTOR® magazine.