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



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!


Commercial Medical Office Spaces Booming in Denver

Denver boasts the country's hottest real estate market with economic stability and a growing population. Some big-name companies have been moving into the area. Ten of which are fortune 500 headquarters, including one of the nation’s largest medical groups.

The largest Real Estate purchases are medical office buildings. Some of the most prevalent high-growth medical sectors are Orthopedics, Pain Management, and Primary Care. Metro Denver now has the world’s only complete research, education and patient care complex. Making it not only appealing to medical professionals but also a plethora of patients seeking optimal, state-of-the-art care. Healthy living requires state-of-the-art health care systems to provide the best medical services to the population in demand. Medical companies and physician groups are taking notice of the demand and moving their practices and offices to the area.

Construction costs are rising in Denver, but it doesn’t seem to be affecting the medical office space demand. Tenants are choosing longer lease options to minimize out-of-pocket costs. Most of the new leases have term lengths between five and 10 years, keeping the market steady in this area for years to come.

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


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.



Safety Tips for First Time Home Buyers

Many first-time home buyers are unaware of the simple methods that can be used to increase safety. Here are a few tips from Real Estate Training Institute you can give your clients when purchasing a new home. 

  1. Change those locks! The first thing that homeowners should do is change the locks on all their outside doors. There is a chance that not all of the keys were collected, and someone could still have a copy. It is also wise to change out the garage door remotes as well.
  2. Lighting is everything. Having a well-lit exterior is great for discouraging criminals. Encourage clients to check all light fixtures for any burnt-out bulbs that need to be replaced, and for any places that lighting needs to be installed.
  3. Be Neighborly. It is always a good idea to meet and get to know the local community and neighbors. They can provide an extra set of eyes looking out. Encouraging clients to meet with their neighbors helps build a relationship that allows them to notify each other more comfortably if something is amiss.
  4. Alarms are not a bad idea. A home that has been on the market might be a magnet for criminals. Installing an alarm system will not only be a deterrent for criminals but also give homeowners peace of mind in their new home.

Real Estate Environmental Issues

This is a snippet from our Environmental Issues course, available in several states for continuing education credits.

If you are buying a facility (commercial or industrial property) you must find out what contamination may be there. Facilities could include factories, gas stations, mirror plants, dry cleaning establishment, or farms. There are three phases of this process.

Phase I. This is a preliminary report that investigates the history of the subject and neighborhood. Inquiries are made regarding owner/operator, governmental and agency documents, and records. A chain of title search is generally performed.

  • The Securities and Exchange Commission requires registered companies to disclose material information that a reasonable investor would believe significant.

  • The Department of Transportation requires that all hazardous material must be reported and all hazardous spills are recorded.

  • The Army Corps of Engineers issue dredge and fill permits and conduct inspections.

Surveys, site plans, and aerial photos can show the location of storage tanks, ponds, transformers, vehicle maintenance areas and topographical features.

Phase II.  This involves actual site testing, including monitoring of wells, soil probes, and their analyses. A Phase II investigation is undertaken if the Phase I investigation finds evidence of possible surface or subsurface contamination, AND/OR past or present violations of environmental laws and regulations. It is during this time that the presence or absence of contamination can be confirmed. Investigators can also identify the types and amounts of hazardous substances present, identify locations, and estimate the rate of migration. Soil and groundwater testing can be done as well.

Phase III.  This phase includes an engineering study of the means of correction (remediation) for the site, including estimates of the costs and time involved. It more precisely determines the degree and extent of contamination (including groundwater contamination) and determines the type of clean-up or control techniques that are appropriate. Note that the recommended cleanup/control techniques must be approved by the appropriate regulatory agency.





Does Your Company Have Your Best Interest In Mind?

There have been a number of assaults on Real Estate professionals reported on our nations news networks.  One such incident regarding a female real estate agent Beverly Carter is still making headlines. 

Carter was abducted and killed in 2014 after meeting a couple (Aaron Lewis and Crystal Lowery) who arranged a fake tour. The couple is currently incarcerated and serving 30 years and life sentences.

The victims family is suing her employer stating in a lawsuit document that “Crye-Leike was well aware of the life-threatening dangers Mrs. Carter faced in the real estate industry and had the duty to provide Mrs. Carter with the necessary tools, guidance, skills, information, awareness, consulting, training, support and technology to keep her safe. Defendants failed in this regard, and as a result, Mrs. Carter's life ended much too soon.”

While most companies have employee safety and welfare at the forefront of their minds, some safety aspects are often overlooked.  The Real Estate Industry has its share of hidden dangers and opportunities where an agents safety is compromised.

Certified training institute offers an online Personal Safety and Self Defense training program to help prepare you and your staff for the unthinkable. 

Course instructor Preston L. Taylor “PT” is a police officer with over 20 years of experience, and is extremely knowledgeable in the realm of personal protection and self-defense.

This online course offers self-defense tactics from the stand-up position utilizing gross motor skill (easy but effective) techniques as well as ground defense and ground avoidance (rape prevention) tactics which can be used anywhere in any situation. You will also learn to be aware of your surroundings and potential dangers.

Certified Training Institute also offers corporate discounts. Not only will you learn lifesaving skills, you can also claim course credits toward your state required continuing education.  Don’t wait until another agent falls victim to foul play, Be Prepared, Be Safe! Sign up today.


Helping Buyers Live Large in a Tiny Home

Due to the skyrocketing popularity of two popular television series “Tiny House Nation” and “Tiny House Hunting,”  the tiny housing market has been booming.  Tiny house hunters have been scooping up these treasures for personal use as well as an opportunity to provide long and short-term rental properties.

A tiny house is typically defined as 500 square feet or less and can be customized to each owner's individual needs.  It can be stationary or mobile making it an extremely flexible choice for transient buyers. Some tiny homes are even made from recycled materials and shipping containers.

Although this lifestyle is dominated by Millennials, every age group can reap the benefits of tiny house living. Some buyers will not make this their “Forever Home”, others may see it as an opportunity to downsize during their retirement years and still be able to live an active experience rich lifestyle.

Real estate agents must keep an open mind and a Trail Blazer’s spirit when attempting to sell one of these tiny treasures.

You can assist in the process by educating yourself and potential buyers.

Start by putting together a marketing campaign geared toward the benefits of a “lifestyle” change as well as “Debt-Free Living” where a person can own their own home as well as enjoy having the extra cash flow to travel and experience life’s little pleasures without being encumbered by a large mortgage.  They must have the courage to downsize and commit to transitioning from living “Large” to living “Tiny”.

Each State and County may have its own rules and regulations regarding tiny structures. It is best to check with local building and housing authorities to see whether these homes are allowed to be placed on private homeowner land or vacant properties.

Encourage buyers to begin the process of downsizing and decluttering their current space, ridding themselves of any excess material items not absolutely necessary in their future tiny home. This means a full overhaul of their current environment starting with their clothes closet, kitchen items, and garage space. Of course, if they intend to sell their current home, retaining items such as enough furniture to stage the home properly would be wise. They’ll be amazed at how this exercise will free them from the burden of too many possessions.