Generation Z is here, are we prepared for the next generation of homebuyer?

Ahhh millennials…  The generation seemingly known for avocado toast, selfies and participation awards.  Joking aside, it seems like we know all we need (or want) to know about this trend-setting generation.

But what do we know about Generation Z? What can Arizona REALTORS expect from nearly 26% of the U.S. population?  They’re more than just emojis, YouTube and Doritos.  How are they different from Gen Y? From floppy disks to flip phones, lets take a quick look at the next generation of potential homebuyers.

Depending on who you ask, GenZers were born somewhere from the mid-1990s to 2011.  That means they were the first generation to grow up with the internet being a daily part of their lives.  In fact, it’s been reported that more than 90% have a digital presence.  As the oldest among this generation begin to enter the workforce, are they looking to purchase a home? What’s their financial situation and attitude towards working with a realtor?

According to a recent study by Homes.com:

87% expect to buy their own house before 35.

With nearly 90% of Gen Z optimistic about the future, they are more likely to aggressively pursue entrepreneurial opportunities and affordable housing markets.  Add in the likelihood of several sources of income from a new-style “gig economy,” connecting with this new customer will be different than the more skeptical millennial homebuyer.

They want to make enough money to afford a home but saving for a down payment is secondary.

21% of Gen Z is confident their parents will help them out with a down payment towards a home.  While its been reported that new workers are better off than they were a decade ago, the increasing costs of owning a home concerns Gen Z more than saving for the down payment.

Gen Z buyers want real estate agents who understand what they want and the local market.

Not exactly shocking news, but Gen Z wants to work with realtors who understand what they want and the local market.  Connecting their needs with the neighborhood will resonate with every client and Gen Z isn’t much different.

90% plan to work with an agent.

Even in a world of increasing ibuyers, nine out of ten GenZers anticipate working with a real estate agent.  Jokingly referred to as having learned how to swipe before learning how to speak, successful realtors understand this group is more heavily reliant on technology than any other generation before them.

Proximity to work #1 on list of desired criteria.

Multiple studies have shown that Generation Z is more interested in the distance to their job than settling in a preferred neighborhood.  In fact, according to the study, 71% said proximity to work was their primary concern with distance to friends/family (52%) and crime (46%) falling a distant 2nd and 3rd behind.

Gen Z has higher expectations than millennials and they are big on individuality.  They’re accustomed to engaging and efficient technology and have grown up expecting businesses to adapt to their specific needs and aspirations.  They are seeking NextGen housing, open to fixer-uppers, buy a home even though they have a student loan, and will compromise on many things as long as they cut costs.

As a realtor, communicating with this group needs to be personal, digital and unique to the individual.  Understanding this generation’s trends, technologies and expectations will help us stay ahead of the curve when connecting with the next group of homebuyers.

Do you change your marketing approach depending on the age of a potential buyer?

Yes

No

 

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Best Tucson neighborhoods for single people

When moving as a single person, there are some things you should consider when choosing the perfect neighborhood. Young, single people have different priorities, compared to the families or couples. They need to find a neighborhood that fits their lifestyle, work, and free time activities. Therefore, we arranged the best Tucson neighborhoods for single people so it’s much easier to find the perfect one for you.

When looking to move in Tucson if you are single, there are some factors to consider. Here’s what to look for:

  • affordable housing – in most cases, single people don’t want to spend a lot of money on rent. Therefore, affordable housing is one of the most important factors. Experienced Arizona realtors will help you find the perfect home just for you.
  • rich nightlife – single people enjoy going out and do it much often than couples or families. Therefore, the best Tucson neighborhoods for single people should include a lot of good restaurants, bars, and cafes.
  • job opportunities – people that are single are more likely to switch jobs, so it’s great if a neighborhood is close to some great companies.

Here’s the list of the neighborhoods you should definitely pay attention to if you are moving as a single person. They are amazing Tucson choices you can’t make a mistake with.

Sam Hughes is a neighborhood that offers houses of different price ranges and has a very diverse population. Since it is close to the University of Arizona, the population of this neighborhood includes a lot of students, professors, but also young professionals, artists, and lawyers. Another thing that attracts single people is the proximity to the Downtown.

Armory Park is a part of downtown, which includes a lot of interesting architectural spots. Since it has an interesting architectural style, it is a very attractive neighborhood. There are a couple of great restaurants in the area, as well as other places to go out and spend your free time.

One of the elite parts of the city, Catalina Foothills is favorite among young professionals. Its population includes a lot of single and successful people, which is great if you are moving to Tucson as a single person. However, it is more on the expensive side, so if you can spend a bit more on the housing – Catalina Foothills is the way to go.

Dove Mountain is one of the modern and popular Tucson areas. It’s attractive and it’s located a bit outside of Tucson. You can find one of the best golf courses there, so if you like that sport, you’ll love it here.

The moving process can get a bit complicated if you are not experienced and you’ve never lived in Tucson before. Therefore, experienced local professionals are the way to go. Try looking for interstate moving team in Arizona that will make the whole relocation quick and easy, and handle your items with care. Furthermore, be sure to stay organized and make moving plans beforehand, so you can have a smooth move.

No neighborhood is perfect. Decide what are the most important criteria for you and try to choose a neighborhood based on that. It’s most important to find a place you’ll feel safe and happy with, so you can enjoy your single life there.

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How To Maximize Space In A Tiny Home

Inevitably when you’re watching one of those tiny house reality shows (we know you know which ones we’re talking about, HGTV!), a buyer who’s looking at a tiny house says something along the lines of, “Well, there isn’t much space/storage room, is there?”

That’s a given when it comes to a tiny house. The clue is in the name, after all — a tiny house just isn’t going to have a lot of room, especially for storage space, and especially for the little extras that can make your house feel bigger.

But thanks to modern design, there are a lot of ways you can maximize space in a tiny home without sacrificing any of the attributes that make it attractive — or tiny. 

Invest in lots of windows …

One of the best ways to make any room feel bigger is by lighting it up, wall to wall, corner to corner. This is usually easiest to do by adding windows, which can be especially effective when placed high up toward the ceiling in a tiny house, leaving room on the walls.

More windows do take up space, of course, but if living somewhere that feels light and airy is important to you, then windows are the very best way to accomplish that goal.

… Or floor-to-ceiling shelving

Of course, you’ll want to think strategically about your tiny house’s layout because with every decision you make to add something, you’ll probably be forgoing something else you might like. So instead of a lofty window, maybe you’d rather install a wall of shelving where you can stash books, plates, clothes, whatever you want to stash.

Put shelves or hooks on your doors

Doors that swing open and shut aren’t always the best idea in a tiny house (more on other options below), but if you really love that aesthetic, then you can still maximize space by adding some storage options to those doors. Hooks can work on either side of the door, and shelves can be a good option for the side of the door that swings away from the room (so you don’t end up smashing the shelves on a wall). They can be a storage spot for bags or coats or whatever you might have needed in a coat closet in a larger home.

Use space outside

Especially if the weather is mostly nice where you live, investing in a big deck or porch where you can eat, set the kids up with homework, or just settle down and read can make living in your tiny home much more, well, livable. Some tiny homes even have an outdoor cooking space for grilling or baking outside, but if you don’t want to go that far, seating for several people and maybe a hammock can go a long way toward making you feel like your house is richer in square footage than it actually is.

Let there be skylights

When your wall space is already taken, one excellent way to add light to a space without adding windows is through skylights. After all, you probably aren’t going to hang shelving from a sloped roof; it’s real estate that you can’t really do much with except for let in some light, so if you feel like windows just aren’t cutting it, consider installing a skylight or two.

Lose the walls entirely …

Open spaces tend to look bigger than walled-off spaces — consider the trend of having a kitchen/dining/living room space that flows into each other; it makes all three areas feel more spacious than they really are. Even though walls only take up inches in reality, they seem to have a disproportionate effect psychologically.

A totally open tiny house might not be feasible for you, and there are definitely other options if you have to have walls or room dividers of some kind. But if you can, open up as much space as possible to give yourself the illusion of a bigger room.

… Or use lots of sliding doors or curtains

If you must have divided space, hanging curtains or installing sliding doors can be an excellent alternative to a wall, which takes up more room than either one. Plus, with a curtain or sliding door, you can keep the space open when you want to feel like your tiny house has more square footage than it really does, then draw the curtains or slide the door shut when privacy is more important than airiness and space.

Add a loft

Most tiny homes don’t have room for two full stories, but a common solution to the issue of space is found in lofted beds or bedrooms. A loft in a tiny house can often accommodate a queen-sized or even king-sized mattress, and when you’re asleep, it doesn’t matter if your body is physically close to the ceiling; you won’t notice at all. Some people even sleep better in a space that feels cozier and more enclosed, once they get used to it.

If you can add a loft to your tiny house and use it for a bedroom or storage space, you’ll be freeing up that much more floor space and giving your place a little boost in terms of feeling bigger than it is.

Turn under-stair space into awesome storage

Not all tiny homes have stairs, but for those that do, there’s usually some lucrative storage space to be found underneath the stairs. You could do like the bigger houses do and use an under-stair closet, but you can also get really creative in a tiny home: Maybe you can create small cubbies with drawers or baskets under the stairs, or perhaps that space will be where you put your bookshelves. Whatever you do, don’t neglect that prime real estate under the stairs — it’s not just for pre-Hogwarts Harry Potter anymore.

Use mirrors wisely

Wall space is usually at a premium in a tiny house, but one very intelligent way to use that space is with mirrors, even if they’re serving as a backdrop to a shelf. While windows are one of the best ways to let more light in, mirrors reflect and bounce back the light that’s there, plus they can make your tiny home feel twice as big when they’re placed correctly.

In a tiny house, a wall mirror probably makes more sense than a floor mirror. You can find or get mirrors cut that exactly fit your wall and reflect the entire house back at you — don’t be surprised if you feel like you’re living in a mansion once they’re installed.

Don’t be afraid to max out one room (but make it your favorite)

People like tiny houses because they’re drawn to the minimalist lifestyle, naturally. But most of us also have a “favorite” room in the house, one where we spend most of our time and energy, where we feel like we’re at our very best. Perhaps it’s the kitchen, or maybe you’re more of a bedroom dweller, or it could be the dining room where your kids sit and do their homework.

Whatever the case, don’t hesitate to go all-out with one room in your tiny house. This really should be just one room, and maybe it’s a space that you can take partially or mostly outside, like the living room or dining room. Once you take any tendencies toward maxing out one room beyond that one room, you’ll find your tiny house really won’t support it … but there’s no harm in giving yourself one room where you feel like you aren’t making any sacrifices of comfort for space.

Don’t box in your storage

Optical illusions are a fabulous way to make your tiny house feel bigger. Even though you might not actually be saving space, using doorless cabinets is one way to help maximize the space in your kitchen (especially if you hang a mirror behind those plates or appliances). On a similar note, using a hanging rod for a closet instead of building an actual closet with a door does actually save space while also making the room appear bigger because you can see around the “closet” to the walls. 

Small appliances can slide in and out on drawers

The kitchen is one place where many people in tiny houses end up making a lot of sacrifices. Storing small appliances can feel especially like a burden, but there are some interesting solutions by way of sliding drawers that let you slide out an appliance when you’re using it and tuck it back away and out of sight when you’re finished. Toaster ovens, coffee machines, and other items you use every day but don’t have the counter space to keep out and ready can still be turned on quickly and put to good use before you slide them back home.

Consider a breakfast bar

Instead of a dining area inside, one nice solution for tiny homes is to build a breakfast bar that connects to your kitchen counter. It’s just a little bit of extra space, but having somewhere to sit and drink your coffee or tea while getting ready for the day — or winding down with a beer or glass of wine at night — can make all the difference in making a place feel like “home.”

Put lights under shelves

Natural light is all well and good when the sun is out, but when it’s hiding or down for the night, you might need to boost the light in your tiny home using artificial means like actual light bulbs. Not all light fixtures are maximized for tiny home use, but you can often find some good places to put light when you look underneath shelves, drawers, kitchen cabinets, and other storage spaces. You can get some nice, bright lights for relatively cheap and save yourself the headache of figuring out what kind of lamp will be small yet powerful enough to suit your needs.

Look underneath for storage

Another time when it pays to “look underneath” is when you’re seeking out storage space. You might be pleasantly surprised by how much storage is available in your tiny house when you can think creatively about it. Can you hang some baskets underneath your sink to hold cleaning supplies? Could you add drawers under your bed or sofa where you can keep extra blankets, bedding, or clothes? Some creative tiny-house enthusiasts are even able to find storage space underneath bathtubs — so crawl around for a little while and see whether you can identify any storage opportunities that you’ve been quite literally overlooking.

Murphy beds are back…

If you haven’t lofted your bed, then a murphy bed — a bed that folds out from a wall — can be another excellent option for a tiny house. Many areas offer specialists who can make custom murphy beds that look like a desk or a table when they’re folded up, then unfold into a spacious and comfortable bed when it’s time to sleep. This way you can make your bedroom multitask as a dining room or study area, only getting out your bed (which, let’s face it, is probably one of the biggest items of furniture most of us own) when it’s time to use it.

…And fold-out desks and tables are in

Beds aren’t the only items of furniture to get the fold-out treatment. Fold-out tables and desks can work very nicely in tiny homes with limited space, and they work exactly like it sounds: You fold them out when you’re ready to use them, then tuck them away when you’re all finished until you need them again.

By being conscious of the space you’re using in your tiny home and doing your best to help every square foot multitask depending on the time of day, you’ll find that you have a lot more room than you thought you would in the tiny home of your dreams.

Do-Not-Call Registry Frequently Asked Questions

It has been widely publicized that a class action lawsuit has been filed against a large national brokerage for alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) and related regulations. According to the lawsuit, the brokerage continuously called the named Plaintiff to market its services in violation of the National Do-Not-Call provisions of the TCPA.

Because many REALTORS® engage in the business practice of “cold-calling” prospects, the Arizona REALTORS® has received questions from members seeking to comply with the law. Below is a collection of some of the questions that have been posed.

Q1. What is the National Do-Not-Call Registry?

A1. The registry is a compiled list of phone numbers from consumers who have registered their preference to limit the telemarketing calls they receive. Telemarketers are prohibited from calling registered phone numbers unless certain criteria are met.

Q2. Where can REALTORS® go to search the National Do-Not-Call Registry?

A2. A telemarketer can receive access to the database by registering on the FTC’s website. Once registration is complete, the telemarketer will receive a unique identification/account number. Five area codes will be provided at no charge and additional ones will cost $54 per area code, up to a maximum annual fee of $14,850 for access to the entire National Do-Not-Call Registry.

Q3. If a brokerage registers for access to the National Do-Not-Call Registry, can the brokerage share its identification/account number with its agents?

A3. Yes. A brokerage can share with its agents the company’s identification/account number, thereby allowing agents within the same brokerage the ability to access the registry using the same account.

Q4. Does placing one’s phone number on the National Do-Not-Call Registry stop all unsolicited calls?

A4. No. Telemarketers are permitted to contact individuals on the National Do-Not-Call Registry if the parties have an “established business relationship.” Relationships that meet this exception include: (i) consumers who have purchased, rented, or leased goods or services from the caller or engaged in a financial transaction with the caller within the 18 months immediately preceding the date of the telemarketing call; and (ii) consumers who inquire about or apply for a product or service offered by the specific caller within three months immediately preceding the date of the telemarketing call. However, if the recipient of the call instructs the telemarketer not to call them again, future contact cannot be made. Other types of calls that are permitted include political calls, charitable calls, debt collection calls, and surveys.

Q5. Are robocalls legal?

A5. A robocall is a phone call that plays a recorded message. In October 2013, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) eliminated the established business relationship exception as applied to prerecorded telemarketing calls. As such, any robocall that is selling a product or service is illegal unless the recipient has given the caller written permission to contact them in that manner.

Q6. Does the TCPA allow REALTORS® to call a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) seller in their capacity as a buyer’s representative who believes that their client may be interested in purchasing the FSBO property?

A6. Yes. Even if the FSBO seller is registered on the National Do-Not-Call Registry, the REALTOR® can call the seller because the call is not placed for the purpose of soliciting business from the seller. Therefore, provided that the call is limited to discussing their client’s interest in the property, the call can be made.

Q7. Does the TCPA allow REALTORS® to call a FSBO seller in an effort to secure the listing?

A7. A call of this nature is placed in an attempt by the REALTOR® to market their services. Unless an “established business relationship” exists, the law prohibits the REALTOR® from initiating a call of this nature if the seller is registered on the National Do-Not-Call Registry. The same is true for calls a REALTOR® may place to an expired listing.

Q8. Can REALTORS® obtain phone numbers from lead generation companies and rely on the established business relationship shared between the consumer and the lead generation company?

A8. Telephone calls from telemarketers to phone numbers provided by lead generators generally do not fall within the established business relationship exception because, while the consumer may have a relationship with the lead generator, they do not have an established business relationship with the REALTOR® who purchased the leads. Unless the consumer inquired into the services of a specified REALTOR® or brokerage, or the lead generator made disclosures that would alert the consumer that they should expect telemarketing calls from the REALTOR® as a result of their communications with the lead generator, the REALTOR® cannot claim that they have a relationship with the consumer.

Q9. Can REALTORS® trust that lead generation companies will not provide them with phone numbers registered on the National Do-Not-Call Registry?

A9. Unfortunately, lead generators responsible for “call verified,” “permission-based,” or “opt-in” leads often fail to remove numbers listed on the National Do-Not-Call Registry. In several enforcement actions, businesses that made telephone calls to consumers on the registry after acquiring the consumer’s name from a lead generator ultimately paid civil penalties to settle charges that their calls violated the TCPA. To be safe, before using a list obtained from a lead generator, REALTORS® should access the National Do-Not-Call Registry and remove from the list all registered phone numbers.

If you are unsure of how any of the aforementioned laws and regulations impact your telemarketing activities, it is recommended that you consult with your attorney before taking any action.

Scott M. Drucker, Esq., a licensed Arizona attorney, is General Counsel & Assistant CEO for the Arizona REALTORS® serving as the primary legal advisor to the association. This article is of a general nature and reflects only the opinions of the author at the time it was drafted. It is not intended as definitive legal advice and you should not act upon it without seeking independent legal counsel.

 

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Independent Contractor or Employee?  Part II

Independent Contractor or Employee?  Part II

How to Structure Broker Relationship with Agents and Staff

“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”
Benjamin Franklin, The Way to Wealth: Ben Franklin on Money and Success

This is the second of three articles on how to properly classify agents and assistants as independent contractors or employees; we learned in the first that to comply with ADRE rules and maintain agents’ independent contractor status, a broker must supervise and control where required, but stop there.  Maintain too much control and the agent you assumed was an independent contractor may be your employee.

This short quiz tests your knowledge on what constitutes a proper independent contractor relationship between a broker and an agent or staff; the answers provide tools to improve your policies and avoid mistakes:

  1. A real estate agent is an independent contractor if there is a written independent   contractor agreement that details the broker’s appropriate — not excessive — amount of control over the agent.

True     _____              False _____

  1. It is best to let an agent have control over whether the agent will receive paid for office space, administrative services, sales leads, and training in order to maintain the agent’s independent contractor status.

True     _____              False _____

  1. Non-real estate agent assistants and staff can be independent contractors or employees depending on how their work is structured.

True     _____              False _____

 

Let’s see how you did:

No. 1 is false.  Even if a broker has the “perfect” independent contractor agreement which details the right amount of control over its agents, the agents may still be deemed employees if in practice the broker exercises more control.  For example, some brokers have policies outside their independent contractor agreements which require agents to follow certain practices and procedures (e.g. attending training and meetings; reporting; reimbursements; etc.).   While any one practice may not convert the agent to an employee, the more control the broker exerts the more likely the agent will be found to be an employee.  To be sure, if your agency is sued or audited, the plaintiff’s lawyer and IRS agent will look for every fact (aspect of control) to support their case

No. 2 is false.  Regardless of who decides, when a broker provides paid for office space, administrative services, sales leads, and training to an agent, it is more likely that the agent we be deemed to be an employee.

In 2016, the Arizona Court of Appeals decided a case where an agent’s car crossed the center line and struck another vehicle as the agent was returning home from a sales appointment; the other driver died (as did the agent).  The other driver’s surviving spouse sued the broker on the basis that it was the agent’s employer.  In deciding that the agent was not the broker’s employee, the court noted that the agent:

was not required to keep specific hours, attend sales meetings, or meet any sales quotas, and although [the broker] provided optional office space, administrative services, sales leads, and training, [the agent] was charged a monthly fee for these services. There is no dispute that [the agent] chose the territory where he worked, created his own advertisements, prospected for clients, drove his own car, worked from his home office, worked purely for commission, and set up his own appointments.

Read here for more information on why the court ruled that the agent was not an employee.     http://hrlawinsider.com/on-the-cutting-edge-new-arizona-case-addresses-company-liability-for-the-torts-of-independent-contractors/

No. 3 is true.  Non-real estate agent assistants and staff can be independent contractors or employees depending on how their work is structured.  Here are factors that courts and the IRS review when deciding the issue:

  • Does the company have the right to control when, where and how the worker performs the job.
  • Does the work require a high level of skill or expertise.
  • Does the employer furnish the tools, materials and equipment for the job.
  • Is the work performed on the employer’s premises.
  • Is there a continuing relationship between the worker and the employer.
  • Does the business have the right to assign additional projects to the worker.
  • Does the business set the hours of work and the duration of the job.
  • Is the worker paid by the hour, week, or month rather than the agreed cost of performing a particular job.
  • Does the worker hire and pay assistants.
  • Is the work performed by the worker part of the regular business of the company.
  • Is the worker engaged in his/her own distinct occupation or business.
  • Does the company provide the worker with benefits such as insurance, leave or workers’ compensation.
  • Is the worker considered an employee of the company for tax purposes (i.e., the company withholds federal, state and Social Security taxes).
  • Can the company discharge the worker.
  • Do the worker and the company believe that they are creating an employer-employee relationship.

Apply these factors to your brokerage and/or other business.  Be sure the answers align with how you have classified your agents and other workers.  And remember, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Benjamin Franklin

 

Bourque Law Firm, P.C. is focused on helping businesses, human resource professionals, and individuals succeed. Art Bourque is an AV rated attorney who has been practicing employment law, commercial litigation, and tort litigation for 27 years. A Dean’s List member each semester of law school and moot court winner for best oral argument in his law class, Mr. Bourque has continued to excel as a professional with a simple formula: working hard.

http://bourquelaw.com/Attorneys.html

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