Voice for Real Estate 74: Harvey, Flood Ins., Scams, Safety

Realtors step up after hurricane Have you asked Congress to renew flood insurance? Time is running out And a live webcast will teach you to go on
offense when it comes to cyber scams These stories and more on The Voice for Real
Estate Hi, I’m Stephen Gasque with the National
Association of Realtors. The news is heartbreaking. Tens of thousands of families displaced. Homes and businesses ruined. Houston and other areas hit hard by Hurricane
Harvey are looking at years of recovery after the storm dumped up to five feet of rain in
some places. But there were heartwarming stories, too,
as neighbors helped neighbors and strangers helped strangers. As they always do, Realtors stepped up. You might have heard about Nicole Lopez, a
Realtor with Intero Real Estate Services in Houston. She and her fiancé, Heath Cummins, used their
truck to save dozens of people stranded in flood waters. Lopez was a contender in Realtor Magazine’s
30 Under 30 program in 2014. This is just one act of heroism. Please share with us other acts of bravery
and courage, which often define Realtors during times of tragedy. Realtors are also opening their wallets. Thousands of Realtors have donated to the
Realtors Relief Foundation to help cover housing costs for Realtors who are facing a long road
to get back on their feet. You can donate to the Foundation if you haven’t
already at nar.realtor/rrf. 100 percent of the funds you donate go to disaster assistance. [SWOOSH] Meanwhile, the business of Washington continues
and one of NAR’s priorities is renewal of federal flood insurance. It expires at the end of September. Go now to the Realtor Action Center to send
a letter to your member of Congress. It only takes a few clicks. Now is the time for you to help make a difference
on a program whose importance can’t be overstated. Tens of thousands of transactions every month,
in all states, depend on the insurance to close. [SWOOSH] Cyber-scams are increasing, and real estate
is a big target because of the large dollar amounts that are involved in transactions. But you don’t have to be an easy victim. NAR Associate Counsel Jessica Edgerton is
hosting Facebook Live webcast to share steps you can take to catch these scams before you
fall victim to one. That event is Tuesday, September 19, at 2
p.m., Central time. The URL shortcut on screen will take you to
a Facebook page, where you can register your interest. During the event, you’ll be follow along
with comments and ask questions of NAR’s legal staff. [SWOOSH] Are you keeping personal safety top of mind
when you’re out in the field? Crime against real estate professionals remains
rare. But concerns about safety come up often. A new report from NAR found that nearly 45
percent of female agents say they’ve been in a situation—an open house, a vacant home,
a model home—where they felt fear. To help protect themselves, almost half of
all female agents say they use a safety app on their phone—these are mainly apps that
let others know where they are—or they take other steps, including carrying a safety device
with them. For women, it’s mostly pepper spray. You can get more on NAR’s 2017 Member Safety
Report, which just came out, at nar.realtor. [SWOOSH] Home sales in July slipped 1.3 percent even
though there’s been no weakening of buyer demand, interest rates remain low, and job
growth is solid. The cause? It’s lack of inventory in many markets,
says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. [QUOTE] On
the commercial side, markets are divided. On the one side are smaller properties in
smaller markets, where transaction volume remains solid because investors continue to
find good yields. But for larger properties in larger markets,
investors are pulling back because they’re not getting the returns they used to get. Here’s NAR’s George Ratiu with more. [QUOTE[ You can get the latest market updates for
both residential and commercial real estate at the NAR Research section of nar.realtor. [SWOOSH] And that’s our show for the week of September
4. You can get more on everything we talked about
today at The Voice for Real Estate page on nar.realtor. Thank you for joining us and be sure to join
us again as we bring you the latest news on The Voice for Real Estate.

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