How Cyber Criminals Use Real Estate Transactions

Criminals are hacking into the email accounts of real estate agents or other persons involved in a real estate transaction and using the information to dupe a party into a fraudulent wire transfer. The hackers often send an email that appears to be from an individual legitimately involved in the transaction, informing the recipient, often the buyer, that there has been a last-minute change to the wiring instructions.  Following the new instructions, the recipient will wire funds directly to the hacker’s account, which will be cleared out in a matter of minutes. The money is almost always lost forever.

The National Association of REALTORS® urges its members and state and local REALTOR® associations to be on high alert for email and online fraud. In May 2015, NAR issued an alert regarding a sophisticated email wire fraud hitting the real estate industry. Since then, the incidents of online scams targeting practitioners have continued to rise, but the advice is the same. Bottom line: Do not let your guard down! Start from the assumption that any email in your inbox could be a targeted attack from a criminal.


Where Are We Moving To?

United Van Lines has tracked migration patterns annually on a state-by-state basis since 1977. For 2017, they released a study based on the household moves they’ve handled. What they discovered was a trend of citizens moving westward while the Midwest and Northeast are losing residents.

“This year’s data reflects longer-term trends of movement to the western and southern states, especially to those where housing costs are relatively lower, climates are more temperate and job growth has been at or above the national average, among other factors,” said Melissa Sullivan, Director of Marketing Communications.

The Southern states also saw a lot of people moving in (52%) and United Van Lines found the top reasons for moving south was company transfer/new job, retirement, and proximity to family. Although the Mountain West was the most popular among retirees moving, the top regions attracting movers taking new jobs included the Midwest (61%) and the Pacific West (59%).

The study is ranked based upon the inbound and outbound percentages of total moves in each state.

Top Ten Inbound States of 2017:

  1. Vermont
  2. Oregon
  3. Idaho
  4. Nevada
  5. South Dakota
  6. Washington
  7. South Carolina
  8. North Carolina
  9. Colorado
  10. Alabama

The Top Outbound States For 2017 (moving out)

  1. Illinois
  2. New Jersey
  3. New York
  4. Connecticut
  5. Kansas
  6. Massachusetts
  7. Ohio
  8. Kentucky
  9. Utah
  10. Wisconsin


Miami Real Estate – A Sizzling Summer for Brokers and Agents

This summer’s study of Miami-Dade Counties sizzling real estate market proves that despite the negative variables, to buyers and renters, Miami is still the place to be. Mid-Market properties ranging from $200,000 to $1 Million provide a more comprehensive overview of the state of the market and real estate professionals are optimistic in this buyer’s market. Overall, Miami-Dade continues to see decent gains in property values, thanks to broad demand for single-family homes in the middle of the market and the completion of nearly $6 billion in new construction. There's a lot of inventory and buyers have the pick of the litter. Agents are narrowing down their searches based on the key variables that buyers are looking at including financing, weather insurance, and location, location, location.

The percentage of cash buyers financing homes has dwindled down and mortgage buyers have taken the lead. Professionals are seeing a more traditional model of real people buying, not just cash investors from foreign countries. Banks are more confident in the real estate market and are offering more options. Interest rates are inching up making fence-sitters who might be waiting to buy a home jump now before they get any higher. The housing affordability for renters, however, is getting worse. More than ½ the county’s families spend more than 30% of their gross income on rent. Miami-Dade has the 3rd worst rent to income ratio in the U.S.

Another factor affecting buying decisions is windstorm insurance. After last year’s Hurricane Irma scare and the growing concern over South Florida’s vulnerability to sea level rise, windstorm insurance rates have held sway on home buyers’ decisions. Folks are used to property taxes but windstorm insurance matters more than anything else. These financial setbacks are what makes renting a condo seem more appealing. Nearly 4,800 new rental apartments were completed from 2014 to 2018 and another 5,062 are currently under construction making the supply outweigh the demand. Overbuilding has made the supply of apartments to go through the roof and as the cranes come down, rents are going to come down too. There is currently a 32-month supply of condos in downtown Miami alone, so the only way to move a condo in this market is to lower your price.

With any real estate purchase, the location is key. It may even be one of the most important variables. Traffic congestion in downtown Miami is brutal, it’s everywhere and it’s changing the city. The perpetual gridlock may be one of the biggest factors to the booming population in downtown Miami. This can be a selling point too for those that want to ditch their cars altogether.


Oklahoma Real Estate Continuing Education

Brokers or Salespeople in Oklahoma must complete 21-hours of Oklahoma approved continuing education classes every 3 years. As an associate broker or salesperson, these credits must include one hour of each of these topics: Broker Relations, Fair Housing, Professional Standards and Codes (Ethics), Hot Topic, OK Contracts, and OK Codes and Rules.

Real Estate Training Institute offers the following complete 21-hour renewal package for Salepersons or Brokers. Courses are available 24/7 from any internet-capable device.

Complete 21 Hour Package | Oklahoma - ONLY $90!

21 credit hours | Online HD Video & Narrated Courses | Includes all required topics               

  • Drones in Real Estate | Oklahoma Approval #176241
  • Personal Safety and Self Defense | Oklahoma Approval #176233
  • Real Estate Contracts | Oklahoma Approval #17704
  • Code of Ethics | Oklahoma Approval #176182
  • Fair Housing | Oklahoma Approval #176181
  • Teams and Advertising | Oklahoma Approval #177254
  • Broker Relationships Act | Oklahoma Approval #17725
  • Real Estate License Laws | Oklahoma Approval #177681
  • 0 Credit - 1.5 Hour Social Media Marketing Course $39 Value Free!



Price Reduced! TREC Approved 18-Hour Package -$39

Sales Agents and Brokers must complete 18 hours of continuing education classes every 2 years. Sales agents must include 8 hours of TREC Legal Updates I & II (these are 4 hours each). The other 10 hours can be TREC approved elective courses. Brokers must also complete a 6-hour TREC Broker Responsibilities course. The remaining 4 hours may be filled with TREC approved elective courses.

18-hour Broker Package - $39


  • 6-Hour Broker Responsibility 2017-2018
  • 8-Hour Legal Updates - Course I & Course II 2018-2019
  • 4-Hour Real Estate Contracts
  • Free Social media marketing for Real Estate Course - $39 Value

18-hour Sales Agent Package - $39


  • 8-Hour Legal Updates - Course I & Course II 2018-2019
  • 4-Hour Real Estate Contracts
  • 3-Hour Code of Ethics
  • 3-Hour Fair Housing
  • Free Social media marketing for Real Estate Course - $39 Value

Kansas First Time Home Buyers Struggling in Empty Market

Across the state of Kansas, the real estate market has seen an unprecedented seller’s market. While this is great news for those wanting to sell, first time home buyers are feeling the sting.

Homes ranging from $100-$200,000 are in such high demand that they are selling within days, even hours of being put on the market. They are selling faster than ever before, and you might receive 20 or more offers on one home. Real estate professionals are seeing offers $20,000 over the list price and the buyer is STILL not getting the home. In fact, houses are selling so quickly, buyers often find themselves in a bidding war. Experts are saying to up your chances at snagging your dream home, you basically must be ready to make an offer immediately.

If you are looking to sell your first home and move up to a larger one, you are in a perfect spot. The number of homes available increases the higher the price point. So, if you’re thinking about putting that ‘for sale’ sign up, now is the time!

The big picture problem that seems to be causing the drought in homes is possible sellers are not seeing anything they want to move into, so they are hesitant to put their home on the market. A solution to this problem would be new construction. However, there are new homes being built and even those are selling quickly.

Currently, in Kansas City, there is a 1.5 month supply of inventory. For buyers and sellers, this means if nothing else went on the market it would take only 1.5 months to sell every home for sale. It’s a great time to sell but a difficult and exhausting time to buy. While agents must be on their toes and ready to be run ragged, looking at 40+ properties, and writing up offers on 4,5, or 6 homes, they are also seeing more $$$.


New Hampshire Real Estate Renewal & CE

What are the continuing education requirements for New Hampshire real estate professionals?

Brokers and salespersons must complete 15-hours of continuing education including a 3-hour core class each renewal cycle.

When does my New Hampshire real estate license expire?

New Hampshire real estate licenses expire every two years on the anniversary of initial licensure.

How do I renew my New Hampshire real estate license?

To renew your license go and follow instructions. Real Estate professionals must complete 15 hours, including 3 hours of Core, by the anniversary of licensure in two 2 year cycles.

What is the fee for renewing my New Hampshire real estate license?

  • Salespersons: $90.00
  • Brokers: $110.00

Where can I find New Hampshire real estate continuing education?

Visit and choose from the selection of state-approved courses.

Does New Hampshire have Reciprocity with other states?

The commission does not have reciprocity for continuing education but will complete individual accreditation on course approved in other states. There is a $10 fee per course review and the applicator must send a timed content online of the course and other documents.

Who Submits Completed Continued Education?

The commission requires providers to issue continuing education affidavits to the licensees, and the licensees are required to submit the affidavits to the commission with their renewal application. Real Estate Training Institute provides all your continuing education needs with printable text and certificates immediately upon course completion.


The Midwest’s Hot Housing Market

The Midwest is experiencing major changes in the Real Estate Market. Prices are rising and days on the market are falling. Millennials are entering their peak homeownership years, favoring urban properties close to their workplace with amenities and activities for their off hours.

Money-minded millennials and others looking to cut commutes and take advantage of the region’s relatively affordable real estate are moving into parts of Chicago, Columbus, St. Louis, and other Midwestern cities. People are interested in homes where it is easy to get to and from work but also have much to offer when they are not at work.

Median sale prices are on the rise in many up-and-coming urban areas. Experts expect millennials to keep moving in, especially considering the Midwest still offers bargain buys when compared with the East and West coasts. Much of the growth in local neighborhoods is due to the ever-growing number of developments with restaurants, shops, and leisure spaces, making the choice to move into these areas an easy one!


Cease and Desist “Blockbusting” in Chestnut Ridge, New York

Chestnut Ridge homeowners have long complained of a daily assault by real estate agents to sell, sell, sell. Now, the state will take steps to stop it. On May 21, 2018, the Department of State filed a cease and desist zone for the Rockland County Village of Chestnut Ridge. The regulation goes into effect on July 1, 2018, and expires on July 1, 2023.

Such a zone can be implemented only if the Secretary determines that homeowners have been subjected to intimidation tactics to get them to sell. Such intimidation often includes the implication that property values will go down due to changes taking place within the community. But some homeowners said that things have gotten out of control, and they've felt threatened, calling the real estate activity "blockbusting." This term was originally used to refer to real estate agents' tactics in the 1950s to induce property owners to sell hastily at reduced prices out of fear that racial minorities would soon be moving into their neighborhoods. The Village of Chestnut Ridge and surrounding areas are in the midst of a hot real estate market. Officials decided to establish a cease-and-desist zone after hearing complaints of residents being approached in their homes, their driveways, and at the back door, by people wanting to buy their homes.

Establishing a cease-and-desist zone is rare, with only two other zones currently in existence. But unusual doesn't mean unnecessary. Homeowners are entitled to enjoy peace within the boundaries of their property. The village is offering residents decals warning solicitors to stay away. While the zone is in effect, it will be unlawful for any licensed real estate broker, salesperson, or any other person regularly engaged in the business of buying and selling a property to solicit a homeowner within a zone that has filed a notice requesting not to receive such solicitations. A list of homeowners that have filed such statements will be available on the Department of State's website. Sending solicitations to a homeowner that has registered with the Department can result in monetary fines, suspension or revocation of licensure. If necessary, enforcement proceedings will commence after October 1, 2018.

We provide state-approved online video courses for license renewal.

4 Drone Shots to Make Your Listing Pop

The use of drones in real estate photography has changed the game when it comes to high-quality video from the air. An experienced UAV pilot may make it look easy, but that comes with a price. You’ll have to find the balance when it comes to cutting into profits to keep up with the competition. One way is to learn how to film your own drone videos.

Here are four video drone shots you can practice so you can film your own listings and have them look just as good as the pro’s.

  1. The Fly-By The fly-by will work in almost every situation and should be used for every listing you film. The best way to film a fly-by is to set your focal point at 200 feet out. Slowly fly by your subject panning left or right. This will add drama to the shot. Fly all the way by the subject and let it leave the frame.


  1. The High Pan – I love to use the high pan when filming a large property, especially waterfront. This is a basic shot that shows the expanse and surrounding areas. Fly straight up to between 150 to 250 feet, depending on how far you want to show in the shot. Once you reach your desired height, slowly pan the drone in a complete circle. Do your best to keep the pan as smooth as possible. The slower the pan, the better. You can always speed it up in editing.

  1. The Orbit – The orbit is a more difficult shot, but it will pay off in the end. It involves both lateral flight and a slow pan. To set up this shot, you will want to set a distance from the structure of 25 to 75 feet. Keep this distance throughout the shot, maintaining a clear flight path all the way around the structure. This is where a spotter can really come in handy. Be sure to keep the structure in the center of the frame throughout the shot.

  1. The Reveal – The reveal is a shot that can set your video apart from every other listing on the market. It is best used when you have waterfront property. Start the drone on the opposite side of the structure from the water. Fly 15 feet off the ground and point the camera straight toward the ground. Fly up and over the building as you pan the camera up. The closer you get to the roof of the home or building the better, but keep it safe. You do not want to have to go looking for a ladder to get your drone off the roof. As you fly over the building, the beautiful water will be revealed, adding a dramatic touch to your listing video.

I hope these shots have helped in filming your own real estate listings. Be sure to practice these shots in a wide-open area before attempting them at a listing. The last thing you want to do is fly into a client’s home or commercial property. Keep it safe and have fun flying.

Interested in learning more? Check out real estate specific drone courses at Real Estate Training Institute. We also offer Commercial Drone Pilot Training too!


Individuals piloting drones for commercial purposes must pass the FAA Remote Pilot in Command  Exam in order to obtain a certificate.
Certified Training Institute offers online video exam prep to ensure you pass the exam on your first try!