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Two Social Media Webinars Tomorrow

October 12, 2011

We all know that social media can be a successful part of a REALTORS’ marketing plan. Is yours? A lot of agents set up facebook pages and blogs, but are not seeing the returns they want to. Is your page not seeing the level of engagement you hoped for?
If not, here are two free webinars tomorrow that might help you turn your stagnant pages around.

Inman Presents: The Power of Engagement
Thursday, October 13th
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. (PDT)

50% of the reasons why Facebook pages and blogs fail are lack of engagement. How do you create and curate interesting and unique content? What types of questions will get you the most bang for your buck? Learn the “secret sauce” to engage your audience, increase your website traffic and generate more leads.

This webinar is hosted by Katie Lance, Inman News’ Social Media Director and Contributing Editor for InmanNext. Don’t miss this free webinar! Sponsored by: Lowe’s and NAR.

15 Big Facebook Mistakes and How You Can Avoid Them
Thursday, October 13th
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (PDT)

Join Jimmy Mackin, Co-Founder of The MLS App and a contributor to Inman Next, as he tackles common mistakes REALTORS make on their facebook pages and ways you can avoid being that agent.

To register, follow the individual links above.

Industry Insights Uncategorized

September CAR Trends: REO Properties in Short Supply

October 7, 2011

The September 2011 CAR Trends Report has been posted to the Research Data section on the Marketing Page of SAVI.
In it, The California Association of Realtors shows that California home sales improved in August on both a month-to-month and year-to-year basis, after dipping to the lowest level of the year last month.  Sales of existing homes are up 8.6% from July and 10.2% from the same month last year. Median prices are still falling on a year-to-year basis, but inched up this month and are at the highest level since December 2010. This is, in part, aided by an increase in equity sales (non-distressed) which made up 56.3% of the total sales in August, compared to 40% earlier this year.
CAR explains, “lean housing inventory is another reason why the statewide median price remained stable in recent months.” Here are some takeaways from the report about inventory:

  • The unsold inventory index was 5 months in August, where it has been around for the last 6 months, which is well below the long-run average of 7.2 months
  • While inventory of equity and short sales are right around the long term average, the inventory index of REO properties was less than half that at 2.5 months (see chart here)
  • There is a major shortage of REO properties compared to demand as can be seen in the difference between percent of inventory vs. percent of sales for the year in this chart below:
  • This results in multiple offers on REO properties which drives up prices

However; the long term affect of this shortage remains to be seen and could constrain future sales if not addressed. These low levels of REO inventory will persist as long as lenders’ lack of urgency in releasing these properties continues. In early September, some major lenders have attempted to expedite the foreclosure process, which would help decrease the current shortage of REO properties. However; the impact of this possible influx of supply on sales and prices is yet to be determined.
To access the full report, click hereDoes the market in your community reflect this CAR report? Tell us in the comments.

Industry Insights Uncategorized

2011 CALIFORNIA REALTOR® EXPO in San Jose – Sept 20-22!

August 31, 2011

Did you know the 2011 CALIFORNIA REALTOR® EXPO will be held in San Jose this year?

The CALIFORNIA REALTOR® EXPO is a premier trade show for California’s real estate industry. This educational event is great for networking and professional development opportunities. Sessions will cover the latest industry topics including social media, short sales, and technology – all geared towards building your business. Featured speakers include:

Walt Mossberg, WSJ Technology Columnist
Jason Dorsey,
The Gen Y Guy
Leslie Appleton-Young,
C.A.R. Chief Economist 

When: The 2011 C.A.R. Expo will be held September 20-22, 2011
Where: San Jose McEnery Convention Center
Cost: The Expo is FREE for C.A.R. members who register (for non-member prices and special, ticketed events and workshops – see registration page).

For More Information & Registration: Visit the 2011 C.A.R. Expo website:

We hope you can represent Alain Pinel Realtors at this event!

Industry Insights Uncategorized

July CAR Trends: The Sales-to-List Price Ratio of the CA Market

August 3, 2011

The July 2011 CAR Trends Report has been posted to the Research Data section on the Marketing Page of SAVI.
In it, CAR shows that despite a weaker performance in terms of closed sales compared to last June, pending home sales rose for the second consecutive month in June, suggesting an improvement in sales activity in the next couple of months. In fact, sales during the second half of the year should match or exceed last year’s sales on a year-to-year basis.
One indicator to consider in the future direction of home prices is the sales-to-price ratio (SL ratio), measured as the ratio between the final sale price of a property relative to its original list or asking price. Below is a look at the SL ratio history in the past couple of years:

  1. In the mid 2000’s, lean inventories and multiple bids drove the SL ratio near 100% – as buyers had little negotiation power.
  2. When the market slowed near the end of 2005, sellers still expected to sell their home at a premium, while buyers realized they had more bargaining power, resulting in a declining SL ratio that went below 90% at one point.
  3. In 2009, after the median housing price dropped more than a third from the previous year and with buyers motivated by tax incentives, the SL ratio began to climb as sellers became more realistic about market conditions.
  4. The SL ratio again started to decline until February 2011 when it bottomed out at 93.5%. The ratio has since bounced back hitting 94.6% in June.

SL ratios vary between price ranges.  High-end homes (priced at over $1 million) had the lowest ratio in June, while sales in the middle tier ($500k to $999k) had the highest. This indicates sellers at the high end were more flexible with asking prices, and were more willing to concede in order to complete the sale transaction.
To access the full report, click here.

Industry Insights Uncategorized

10 iPad Apps You Should Be Using

July 19, 2011

As mobile technology and iPads become more prevalent, it can be hard to navigate the extensive amount of apps that are available. We’ve put together a list of the top 10 iPad apps for real estate professionals designed for on-the-go efficiency.

  1. Zillow (Free)
    In addition to high-resolution photo galleries and side-by-side comparisons, Zillow gives users access to real estate data and info for all U.S. Homes. Zestimates on home values, homes for sale, and more can easily be accessed (and saved for later) with a few drags and taps.
  2.® (Free)® has the most extensive and frequently updated listings on the web. With this app you can view listings, save listing and map searches, and add private ratings and notes. With website synchronization, you can take your home searches with you and share them with your friends, agents, and social networks.
  3. Trulia (Free)
    Trulia HD was designed specifically for the iPad. With full-screen interactive maps, neighborhood-specific details, high-resolution photos, and more – Trulia makes searching for homes for sale easy and fun.
  4. Keynote ($9.99)
    Easier and more intuitive than PowerPoint, Keynote is a great tool for creating simple and stylish listing presentations.
  5. Documents To Go ($9.99)
    If you’re attached to PowerPoint, Documents To Go is for you. This is a one-stop application with support for Microsoft® Word, Excel & PowerPoint, PDF, Apple iWork and other files and attachments.
  6. Dropbox (Free)
    Like your own personal cloud service, Dropbox allows you to store, sync and share files online. With a simple interface, you can transfer your files between any device.
  7. GoodReader for iPad ($4.99)
    PDF’s can easily be annotated with this app. Edit text, move notes, draw, and add a personalized signature with this great document reader. iAnnotate PDF ($9.99) and PDF Expert for iPad ($9.99) are great alternatives that also support VGA-out to project your work.
  8. DocuSign (Free app; subscription required)
    This is a top electronic signature service for all your business document needs. Create, tag and modify documents for e-signature. Then you can send, track, sign, and manage them with real-time status, so you know what is complete and what still needs attention.
  9. Layar (Free)
    An Augumented Reality (AR) technology app that displays digital information called “layers” into your field of vision. Use it to discover additional information about the world around you. Connect and share your layers, spots, and screenshots with your social networks.
  10. Bump (Free)
    Any file you want to share can easily be transferred with Bump™. Just select what you want to share and gently bump together two devices to transfer data between users. Adding friends inside of Bump also allows you to share files even when they aren’t near.
Industry Insights Uncategorized

APR Nominated for Inman's 2011 People's Choice Innovator Award!

July 14, 2011

APR has been nominated for the 2011 People’s Choice Innovator Award!

The award winner, which represents a standout real estate-related technology, will be announced during the Real Estate Connect conference in San Francisco, July 27-29, and will be featured in the annual Inman News Innovator Awards.

Voting for the People’s Choice award will end Friday, July 22, so be sure to cast your vote for APR now!


Industry Insights Uncategorized

June CAR Trends: Today’s Home Buyer

July 13, 2011

The June 2011 CAR Trends Report has been posted to the Research Data section on the Marketing Page of SAVI.
In it, CAR shows that despite concerns about the performance of the market, there are buyers who are taking advantage of today’s prices and low mortgage rates. Here are selected results from C.A.R.’s 2011 Survey of California Home Buyers that explain why people are buying now and how they have gone about their home buying process:

  1. What is getting buyers off the fence and what is their primary reason for buying.
    Most responses pointed to the familiar theme of improved affordability due to price declines and favorable financing. 
  2. Certain neighborhood and home qualities were more desirable than others.
    Most buyers indicated the neighborhood was more important or equally important as the home features. 
  3. The Internet is the primary tool of buyers – they used it not only for research on the housing market and neighborhoods, but also to find homes and their agents.
    Buyers are doing their homework, with nearly three quarters spending between two and four months investigating homes and neighborhoods before contacting an agent. But, while the Internet offered a wealth of information and resources, 80% of buyers indicated that they found the home they purchased through an agent. 
  4. The use of social media is becoming more prominent and buyers have caught on.
    Over half of the buyers surveyed indicated they use social media for agent referrals, to view home videos and agents’ Facebook pages, get home buying tips, and review neighborhood information.

To access the full report, click here.

Industry Insights Uncategorized

CMA Upgrades – Including All New “iPad CMA”

July 9, 2011

We are excited to announce 4 major CMA upgrades:

  1. Updated Printed Marketing Slicks – new stats, images and less pages
  2. Enhanced Estates OnLine Program (EOL) – now more accurate, reliable and easier to use
  3. New Online version –includes both marketing pages and EOL pages electronically in an emailable link
  4. New iPad version – new cutting-edge visual presentation


APR agents are the first real estate professionals with access to a complete and automated listing presentation tool in a mobile format. The iPad CMA is the newest and most visual listing presentation available through Estates Online, allowing you the ability to showcase your client’s property, review comparable listings, map properties, and analyze data all from the convenience of your visually rich mobile device.
Other firms have released consumer facing tablet apps, and APR has and will continue to implement a great deal of consumer facing mobile technology, but the iPad CMA puts this technology directly in your hands, helping you better serve your clients immediately.


Interested in learning more?
  • Or visit the Training Tab on SAVI to sign-up for hands-on classes, watch a tutorial video or walk-through the upgrades using a training document.
Excited about the iPad CMA and now want to buy one?
Have questions?

  • Email or call the APR Help Desk at 800.446.9635 for basic iPad configuration of APR email and wireless as well as CMA & EOL troubleshooting.
Need more help?
  • See your OA about advanced iPad set-up and Training options available in your office conference room in groups of 5 for $150/agent.

Go to  and start using the upgrades to the APR CMA today!

Industry Insights Uncategorized

May CAR Trends: 2011 First Quarter Housing Market Report

June 6, 2011

The May 2011 CAR Trends Report has been posted to the Research Data section on the Marketing Page of SAVI.
In it, CAR shows that as the economy continued to improve slowly and mortgage rates remained at historically low levels, first quarter home sales activity in California was on par with the first quarter of last year when tax credits prompted housing demand to increase. Sales of existing single-family homes totaled a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 519,870 in the first quarter of 2011, an increase of 6.7% from the fourth quarter of last year, and virtually unchanged from the first quarter of 2010 after declining consecutively for four quarters on a year-to-year basis. The statewide median price of $278,430 in the first quarter of 2011 was the lowest since the second quarter of 2009, as deeply-discounted distressed sales continued to make up more than half of all sales throughout the state. The median price declined for the third straight quarter, but remained 12.4% higher than the cyclical low of $247,630 reached in the first quarter of 2009.
Sales growth in the Bay Area was slightly stronger than that of the state. Sales of existing detached homes in the Bay Area increased 1.7% year-to-year in the first quarter of 2011, slightly higher than the growth rate of the state.
Lower-priced counties in the Bay Area experienced a larger boost in sales from the tax credits in the first quarter of last year compared to the state as a whole. Moreover, economic conditions have stabilized throughout the state, but recovery in these county economies has lagged with somewhat weaker sales in the first quarter of this year. As a result, the year-to-year declines in the first quarter of 2011 were somewhat larger in these counties than for the state as a whole. By contrast, most Bay Area counties received a smaller boost to sales from the tax credits last year, and were farther along the road to recovery in the first quarter of this year, so the year-to-year comparisons were somewhat better.
While state, regional, and county home sales are generally lower than one or two years ago, they remain on track to hit the levels seen in the pre-peak years of the late 1990s and early 2000s that are equivalent to the sustainable sales in the California housing market over the next few years. As for home prices, most counties will avoid a double-dip to the lows that were experienced in early 2009, but will experience softness over the coming months until improving economic conditions create more jobs and brighten consumer sentiment.
To access the full report, click here.