REBroker.MIAMI has Launched!

REBroker.MIAMI is a residential real estate search site for property & rentals!
REBroker.MIAMI is a real estate search site for property & rentals!

Over the past several months I have been working diligently on collecting information to publish my usual quarterly Miami Beach Market Pulse Updates.  I had even began a year end wrap up article; however, business has been extraordinarily hectic, and the additional load of having to oversee the build of an MLS enabled website(s) has consumed much of my time!

I will be publishing the December 2015 versus December 2014 and January 2016 versus January 2015 data comparisons over the next week (because if I do not, the tasks will have to wait until I come back from a business trip to New York City).

With that said, I am very pleased to announce the launch of REBroker.MIAMI!  I have published on that website’s blog an initial welcome and a brief history of my young company and how it came to be: http://www.rebroker.miami/info/blog/post/welcome-to-rebroker.miami/

January 2016 passed as quickly as a speedboat cruising by a paddle board!  As we all hustle into making 2016 as successful as we can, let us not forget how blessed we are to live in such a beautiful place and take the time to soak it all in from time to time!

Cheers,

Miami Realtor, Miami Real Estate Professional
Christopher Lazaro, MBA – Licensed Real Estate Broker
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Top Listings of the Miami Beaches – January 2016

Miami Beaches Most Expensive Listings (01/03/2016)

Back in December, prior to the facelift of Real-Estate-Of-Miami, now BeachBroker.Miami, and the launch of my MLS/IDX Site, REBroker.Miami, I had an idea to begin publishing monthly articles of the top listings from each of the 5 zip codes constituting the Miami Beaches.  In this article, I feature 5 properties, one in each zip code, that is the single most expensive listing in each zip code as of January 3rd, 2016.  Each of the links below will download a full report in PDF format and contain pictures, as well as other pertinent information to each property.  Call me any time with questions or for showing appointments!

33139 – South Beach

For a $42,000,000 listing in South Beach, the listing agency only posted 7, less-than-choise photographs to describe this otherwise very large low-rise unit in SoFi, and as such, I will only a picture of the building.  The home features 4200 square feet, 6 bedrooms and 7 baths.  I find the listing confusing, and will have to call the agent because the MLS record contins verbiage such as: “floor plan possibilities”, “flexible zoning” etc.  In my opinion, as a home, this property would not sell for $10,000,000 let alone 42 million.  However, it came in on top (as the most expensive listing in South Beach).  Fear not though!  February’s top listing for 33139 will not disappoint!

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You can see the virtual tour of this property here:  http://www.propertypanorama.com/instaview/mia/A10006586

The Property Report can be download here —>  Property-Report_90-Alton-Rd-Miami-Beach-FL-33139_2016-01-03-20-39-50

 

33140 – North Beach

Moving on to far greener pastures indeed, this top listing lies just off Alton Road at the intersection of where the canal north of 48th Street meets the Bay.  Featuring 7 Bedrooms and 10 bathrooms with 17,055 square feet under air, this property screams “wretched excess”; right up my alley indeed!  It has a truly remarkable modern design and finishings throughout.  One look at this place and it would make you wonder on what planet the guys listing the 90 Alton Road property (featured above) are thinking!?

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The Virtual Tour can be found here:  http://www.propertypanorama.com/instaview/mia/A2047735

I highly recommend viewing this property report!:  Property-Report_5004-N-Bay-Rd-Miami-Beach-FL-33140_2016-01-03-20-37-25

 

33141 – North Bay Village

This beauty is expected to be completed before the end of March 2016.  Featuring a whopping 15,000 square feet, 7 bedrooms & 9 bathrooms, panoramic views of the bay; this extravagant home is listed at $30,500,000 USD.

Take the hands free virtual tour here –> http://www.propertypanorama.com/instaview/mia/A2189183

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For More Information & Pictures, Click Here –> Property-Report_6440-N-Bay-Rd-Miami-Beach-FL-33141_2016-01-03-20-34-57

 

33154 – Bal Harbour

Listed at $36,000,000 USD, this 8 bedroom, 10 bathroom mammoth home features 20,198 square feet under air conditioning.  Newly built (2015) and situated on nearly a half acre of property, this property has all the usual amenities one would expect of a home of this caliber.

I commend the listing agent on the quality of the photography and use of words in describing this work of art:

  The ultimate subtropical modern oasis, this just completed, museum quality residence was impeccably designed by award-winning architect Chad Opennheim in the most exclusive and secure community in Miami Beach, Bal Harbour. The residence was masterfully de signed to seamlessly blur the lines of indoor-outdoor with over 17,000 sqft of living space. Experience spectacular water and sunset views from a vantage point just 300 yards from one of only 2 inlets in Miami Beach, where the ocean meets the bay.

252 Bal Bay Drive

252 Bal Bay Drive Chad Oppenheim

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252 Bal Bay Drive Chad Oppenheim 252 Bal Bay Drive Chad Oppenheim

The Virtual Tour can be found at this link:  http://www.propertypanorama.com/instaview/mia/A2211507

The Property Report can be downloaded from here:  Property-Report_252-Bal-Bay-Dr-Bal-Harbour-FL-33154_2016-01-03-20-31-09

33160 – Sunny Isles Beach

The most expensive listing in Sunny Isles Beach is a private island which as been listed for more than 1900 days (that has to be a record or something).  Listed at $49,500,000 USD, as of January 3rd it was listed as Pending Sale (hooray for tat listing office!).  The lot size is a total of 8.13 acres, perfect for a billionaire’s compound, or several large mansions, or even an extremely nice rental complex for an exclusive subset of the affluent & sophisticated 35-50 year old jet-set business professionals.

Here is the Property Report: Property-Report_4044-Island-Estates-Dr-Miami-FL-33160_2016-01-03-17-54-14

I promise something more creative than a piece of land, but I did want to start with the highest price listings on Miami Beach, and here they are as of January 3rd 2016.  I am already compiling my report for February and I will debut it next week.  I am still playing catchup with the massive influx of business my partner and I have received over the past 3 months.  It has been quite extraordinary!

Thank you for reading my article.  I love comments, constructive criticisms, and even the occasional flame.  Let me know!

Cheers,

Christopher J. Lazaro, MBA

Licensed Real Estate Broker

 

The Miami Beaches Market Pulse: 2015 Year End Wrap Up – (February 2016 Update)

Miami Beach
Looking across the intracoastal waterway to Miami Beach

The Miami Beaches 2015 Year End Market Analysis

Hello and Happy New Year to All!  I am a little late in publishing this; life & business sometimes gets in the way; but 2015 is now history (as well as January 2016!).  However, data driven bloggers, like myself, and other analysts continue gathering and compiling their numbers (and putting their tax returns together like everyone else 😦  ) to make their reports.  Heck, it takes whole quarters (or more) for our own government to figure out if & when we enter a recession (obviously they are too wealthy for our own good 😉 ).

I pulled the latest & greatest RPR Market & Neighborhood Reports for the 5 zip codes constituting the Miami Beaches and present to you the December 2015 versus December 2014 Report.  Here are the results:

33139 – South Beach

While I cannot speak for other agents, my firm saw the most sales activity in South Beach compared to anywhere else on the Miami Beaches.  South Beach continues to have a tremendous allure both nationally and internationally.

Median Est. Home Value: $397K (Up 4.2%) / Median Est. Listing Price: $237K (Down –5.2%) / Median Days in RPR: 110 (Down –13.4%) / Sales Volume: 95 (Down –26.9%)

The 33139 Market Activity Report for December 2015:

Market-Activity-Report_Miami-Beach-FL-33139_2016-01-03-20-40-18

Sales volume continues to decline in year over year comparisons of each month; however, I am noticing signs of an inflection point in that the number of days listed before a property sells has dropped by nearly 14%.  If sales volume in the coming months flattens (by comparison to the prior year’s month being compared) or rises, it could potentially indicate a good time to buy in 33139.  My recommendations are based on long term (for the purposes of this blog); 5-10 years or more.  This blog is not intended (unless I specifically say so in a specific article) for Buy/Flip or Buy/Rehab/Flip strategies to be implemented upon.

December 2015 Neighborhood Report for 33139

Neighborhood-Report_Miami-Beach-FL-33139_2016-01-03-20-40-24

Listing Volume (number of homes currently listed for sale) is 50% higher than January of 2013.  This means there is a much greater number of choices available to the buyer.  While oceanside condos are holding steady, a now 13 month long correction in ask prices for homes being listed continues.  In addition, I recall 2 & 3 years ago there not being a large amount of high-end rentals available anywhere on the beaches during the October-April season.  This season I did a quick search on MLS spanning all 5 zip codes of the Miami Beaches for rentals that range between $7000 and $10000 dollars per month and found more than 300 of them!  Further analysis is necessary, but I am fairly confident the luxury market is taking a hit too.

33140 – North Beach

I am not quite sure what the problem is with this market but after several thousand dollars in Realtor.com advertising to acquire buyers for this zip code, I have yet to even show a property in this zip code over the past 2 quarters!  As a result I am on the verge of dropping it all together and seeing if I can buy another slot elsewhere.  Perhaps my luck will change?  With that said, here are the December 2015 versus December 2014 numbers:

Median Est. Home Value: $481K (Up 2.1%) / Median Est. Listing Price: $377K (Up 5%) / Median Days in RPR: 110 (Down –24.7%) / Sales Volume: 49 (Down –10.9%)

The December 2015 Market Activity Report for 33140:

Market-Activity-Report_Miami-Beach-FL-33140_2016-01-03-20-37-35

Clearly a rebound is occurring in this area (and I do happen to love the area personally…it just has not been my best zip code this year).  Sales volume has started to flatten (as I mentioned earlier how this might be a good thing) compared to prior month comparisons, where it was off 50% year over year, and the average number of days a property is listed before it sells has plummeted by 25%.  This is great news for Sellers in this market and a potential warning to Buyers who are looking.

Neighborhood-Report_Miami-Beach-FL-33140_2016-01-03-20-37-41

Listing Volume is 50% higher than it was during the same time period in 2013, however, over that same period of time home values and asking prices have remained stable / mostly unchanged.  This is an area that is currently undergoing many changes in terms of both demographics, new construction, and rehabilitation of older buildings.  I believe it represents a great investment opportunity and it is genuinely a very safe, beautiful area to live.

33141 – North Bay Village & Atlantic Heights

This area, in my opinion, represents one of the greatest values anywhere for the location alone.  The median home value is 100,000+ dollars less than ANYWHERE else on the Miami Beaches.  Average Income Families can actually afford to buy and live here!  I think it is grossly undervalued relative to it’s long term (5-10 years) potential.  In addition, it has a wonderful “small town” / “village” feel & appeal.  New construction is on the rise, and that will absolutely, at some point, begat more assemblage deals for the real estate brokers and developers; and ultimately this area will begin to resemble the other 4 zip codes.  My recommendation is to buy, hold/rent and buy often.

Median Est. Home Value: $271K (Up 10.7%) / Median Est. Listing Price: $185K (Down –22.6%) / Median Days in RPR: 95 (Down –18.8%) / Sales Volume: 60 (Down –38.1%)

The December 2015 Market Activity Report for 33141:

Market-Activity-Report_Miami-Beach-FL-33141_2016-01-03-20-35-11

Once again, listing volumes are over 50% higher than two years prior, sales volume is lower than any time over the past 2 years, and the median listing price is substantially lower, which I attribute to an increase in the number of 1 and 2 bedroom homes in older buildings that quite probably need either rehabilitation or demolition.  I believe this area is two or three real estate cycles from achieving a peak in greatness and desirability; but I would hesitate to call investment here speculation given the values I have personally found, shown and sold in this area (I will not be discontinuing this zip code with Realtor.com if that tells you anything).  To boot, the neighborhood is wonderfully better than it was 10 years ago.  Change is happening; but as we all know in real estate, it happens over years, not days or weeks.

The 33141 Neighborhood Report:

Neighborhood-Report_Miami-Beach-FL-33141_2016-01-03-20-35-22

33154 – Bal Harbour

Certainly one of the most desirable zip codes to live in within the continental United States.  Bal Harbour represents the epitome of affluence with a far more conservative appeal than anywhere else on the Miami Beaches.

Median Est. Home Value: $648K (Up 22%) / Median Est. Listing Price: $387K (Down –7.8%) / Median Days in RPR 119 (Down –9.8%) / Sales Volume: 60 (Up 17.6%)

This is perhaps the best report and comparison I have seen since I began reporting on the beaches just after the market correction began.  33154 has begun to rebound strongly.  Sales Volume is up, Average Number of Days on the Market is down, and the estimated home values have rocketed by 22% in a single year!  In my opinion, an investment in Bal Harbour is akin to buying a “blue chip stock”.  Even during the recent correction it suffered the least, and it appears that it is the first to begin rallying back.

The December 2015 Market Activity Report for 33154:

Market-Activity-Report_Miami-Beach-FL-33154_2016-01-03-20-31-19

Sales Volume, when compared over a 2 year period is above average. Listing Volume is also higher than at any time in the prior two years, however, median listing prices have sharply moved higher since July of 2015.  Median listing prices continue to find support at 375k.

Neighborhood-Report_Miami-Beach-FL-33154_2016-01-03-20-32-56

33160 – Sunny Isles, Golden Beach & Eastern Shores

HOME…that is what I am proud to call Sunny Isles Beach.  Ever since I was a child and my family would vacation here (when it was still North Miami Beach), I always knew I wanted to live on this little stretch of sand.  Back in those days, this was one of the seediest places in all of Miami-Dade County.  However, in the past 20 years Sunny Isles Beach has seen one of the greatest booms and gentrifications in US History (I am willing to bet).  Where once stood small, dilapidated hotel/motels, now stand massive, high-end towers reaching into the sky.  Where rag tag shops used to litter the shopping centers now stand 3 star or better restaurants and designer boutiques, not to mention the sheet concentration of real estate brokerages here is pretty amazing!

Median Est. Home Value: $352K (Up 3.6%) / Median Est. Listing Price: $225K (Down –9.6%) / Median Days in RPR: 113 (Down –11.7%) / Sales Volume: 97 (Down –32.6%)

The December 2015 Market Activity Report for 33160:

Market-Activity-Report_North-Miami-Beach-FL-33160_2016-01-03-17-56-12

Considering where the numbers started when I began blogging the Miami Beach Market Pulse, 33160 appears to have improved somewhat.  Sunny Isles Beach was particularly sensitive to the investment appetites of foreign nationals, and as the Dollar appreciated against every other currency in the world, this led to a drying up of buyers in the general market.  It also exposed foreign buyers to a greater debt load as the dollars they borrowed became more expensive to repay (and this is an ongoing fact that has not fully resolved or come to a head yet).  In addition, a great deal of foreign economies are net commodity exporters; and since commodities of virtually every kind (oil, sugar etc) have crashed, I imagine business is not booming the way it was in the prior decade as commodities soared before and during the mortgage crisis.

The Miami Beaches Market Pulse: The Market Correction Continues…

Miami Beach
Miami Beach

The Miami Beaches Market Report:

January 1st 2015 – September 4th 2015 (October 2015 Update)

As the summer in Miami Beach came to a close I ran these reports on the five zip codes constituting the Miami Beaches ahead of the Labor Day Weekend.  My last report was published shortly before the end the Spring and just ahead of the Memorial Day Weekend; and it was quite was alarming.  Using data from Realtor’s Property Resource, an authoritative database for all transactions listed via the Multiple Listing Service, when compared to the same time period in 2014, transaction volume on the Miami Beaches had plummeted by 30-50% and listing volume was up sharply.

Since then, the stock markets, worldwide, have roiled over the uncertainty surrounding the future of interest rates, let alone the world’s reserve currency, the US Dollar; which, albeit stronger in the last couple of years, remains fixed in a 30+ year long downtrend.

US Dollar remains in a long-term downtrend
US Dollar remains in a long-term downtrend

The recent upswing in the Dollar resulted in properties being more expensive to foreign nationals, and for this reason, amongst others (i.e new construction), I believe is the root cause of what is currently happening along the Miami Beaches.  Please note that the data below DOES NOT include pre-construction or new construction purchases; but also keep in mind that there is virtually nothing, of consequence to the numbers, in the new construction category within the Miami Beaches that is priced under one million US Dollars.

The Miami Beach & South Beach (33139) Market Report

Below is a link for the 33139 Market report.  The data is summarized as follows:

Median Est. Home Value: $397K, Up 10.5%; Median Est. Listing Price $185K, Down –21.1%; Median Days in RPR 105, Down –9.5%; Sales Volume: 87, Down –48.5%

The Miami Beach & South Beach (33139) Market Report

Below is the Neighborhood Report for 33139.

The 33139 (South Beach) Neighborhood Report

As you can see, Home Values continue to rise despite market weakness, however, I expect a shift in this as Median Listing Prices are down substantially and homes are on the market longer.  In addition, the chart goes back as far as 2012, where there were circa 1500 homes listed in the South Beach Market.  Listing Volume has more than doubled in the last 3 years having passed more than 3200 listed homes currently on the market!  Naturally, Median Listing Prices have been declining over the same time period as Sellers wake up and realize their home is not worth nearly as much as they imagined.

The Miami Beach & North Beach (33140) Market Report

Below is a link to the Miami Beach (33140) / North Beach Market Report.  The data is summarized as follows:

Median Est. Home Value $489K, Up 7.1%; Median Est. Listing Price $340K, Down –5.4%; Median Days in RPR 107, Down –4.5%; Sales Volume 62, Down –34%

The Miami Beach & North Beach (33140) Market Report

Below is the Neighborhood Report for Miami Beach / North Beach 33140

The Miami Beach / North Beach (33140) Neighborhood Report

The 33140 area lies immediately to the north of South Beach, 33139 and is, with respect to home ownership and other demographics a stark contrast to South Beach.  North Beach is more of a full-time resident neighborhood and has far less tourist traffic than 33139.  However, it is also not immune to the market correction we have been seeing.  Again, Home Values continue to increase, while Listing Volume also continues increase, having nearly doubled in the last 3 years.  More owners than renters exist in this market, and in my opinion, it is a more family friendly zip code to live in.  Median List Prices are relatively flat year over year, and I expect this sideways trend to dip lower as listing volume increases.  When looking at the the Price Range of Homes Sold, it should be noted that nearly 1/3 of all sales were over $1,100,000 USD.

North Beach & North Bay Village (33141) Market Report

Below is a link to the Miami Beach / North Bay Village Market Report.  The data is summarized as follows:

Median Est. Home Value $267K, Up 6.5%; Median Est. Listing Price $150K, Down –32.7%, Median Days in RPR 85, Down –24.1%; Sales Volume 58, Down –52.1%

North Beach & North Bay Village (33141) Market Report

Below is the Neighborhood Report for Miami Beach & North Bay Village, 33141

Miami Beach & North Bay Village (33141) Neighborhood Report

Following the greater trend, Home Values continue to rise but the Median Listing Price has fallen off a cliff, now down 32%.  I sold a couple of homes in this area in the past quarter and noticed that the recent Market Correction has brought in Ready, Willing and Able American Buyers (both were soon-to-be Retiree Couples).  The Average Days on the Market also fell substantially as Buyers looking for a deal are snatching up properties in this area.  I think that for a second home, investment property, or wanting to simply live in the area of Miami Beach, the best values can be found in this particular neighborhood right now.  It is absolutely a Buyer’s Market with Sales Volume down more than 50% and Listing Volume having more than doubled in the past 3 years.  This is a weaker market than the North Beach (to the south) and the Bal Harbour (to the north) Markets, and in my view, it has led the market correction on the beaches as a result.  I expect the other markets, to a degree, to follow suit prior to the Spring of 2016 (although from May 2015 to September, Bal Harbour has taken quite a beating.  It was “leading” the markets (in terms of resilience at least) in May.)

The Bal Harbour, Bay Harbor Islands & Surfside (33154) Market Report

Below is a link to the Miami Beach / Bal Harbour & Bay Harbor Islands (33154) Market Report.  The data is summarized as follows:

Median Est. Home Value $629K, Up 16.9%; Median Est. Listing Price $323K, Down –23.7%, Median Days in RPR 107, Down –10.8%; Sales Volume 25 Down –62.7%

The Bal Harbour, Bay Harbor Islands & Surfside (33154) Market Report

Below is the Neighborhood Report for Miami Beach / Bal Harbour (33154):

The Miami Beach – Bal Harbour (33154) Neighborhood Report

Bal Harbour is one of the wealthiest communities in the United States, home to one of the most exclusive malls in the world (The Bal Harbour Mall), and is an absolutely beautiful place to behold.  However, it has not been able to hold up against the market correction as well as it was doing back in May when I published my last report.  While, once again, Home Values continue to rise (and substantially here, +16%), Median Listing Prices are down by nearly 25% and Sales Volume is off by a whopping 62.7% (I am glad I am not an agent only specializing in Bal Harbour!).

Listing Volume is at a 3 year high and is currently double what it was in January 2012.  Median Listing Prices have broken through a support range of 375K and are continuing to fall.  One third of all listings sold were under 400K and another third of all homes sold were over 900K.  Therefore this recent market correction has obviously spared no one.  I expect market turnover to continue until Listing Volume begins to decline.

The Sunny Isles Beach, Golden Beach & Eastern Shores (33160) Market Report

Below is a link to the Sunny Isles Beach & Eastern Shores, 33160 Market Report.  The data is summarized as follows:

Median Est. Home Value $356K, Up 9%; Median Est. Listing Price $195K, Down –20.4%; Median Days in RPR 109, Down –12.1%; Sales Volume 113, Down –38.9%

The Sunny Isles Beach, Golden Beach & Eastern Shores (33160) Market Report

Below is the Sunny Isles Beach & Eastern Shores (33160) Neighborhood Report:

The Sunny Isles Beach & Eastern Shores (33160) Neighborhood Report

I have lived in Sunny Isles Beach for the last 7 years and I know this town well.  In fact, I am pretty sure the data has improved in this zip code substantially in the past month due to the sheer volume of Buyers who have called me interested in taking advantage of the recent market correction here.  While Home Values Improved, the Median Listing Price dropped substantially, at one point was off by nearly 30%.  Listing Volume has climbed steadily however, and is currently sitting at a nearly 4 year high.  In September, the trailing 12 months of Sales Volume was off nearly 40%, but a recent spate of closings I believe has reduced this to less than 5%.  Keep in mind that a very substantial demographic change is currently underway in Sunny Isles Beach.  With the construction of numerous beach front condominiums, a breed of extraordinarily high net worth people have been scooping up pre-constructions prices STARTING at $1400 per square foot!  In turn, I have seen a number of beach condominium owners, also wealthy, but, not as wealthy as the newer beachfront apartment buyer, put their condominiums up for sale and inquire about making a purchase on the intracoastal side of the barrier island, an area of older, smaller, less expensive homes and apartments.  This bodes well for home values and tax receipts to the City of Sunny Isles in the future as the demographic of this city becomes, on average, even wealthier.  With few exceptions, I do not see prices declining much further here, however, I do see rents continuing to skyrocket as a result of this shift.

Outlook

Despite the market correction on the beaches, Miami continues to be a top international destination, and barring an apocalyptic event, I do not see that trend softening, let alone reversing, any time soon.  For the last 5 years inbound traffic and hotel stays have set records year after year, room rates continue to rise, and tax revenue from tourism continues to increase substantially.  In tandem, massive non-residential commercial investment continues to pour into Miami-Dade County, and Southeast Florida as a whole.  While the vast majority of the United States, I expect in the coming 1-2 years, will take an economic beating as a result of our Country’s ludicrous fiscal and monetary policies, The Miami Beaches and the City of Miami, I believe, will weather whatever the coming economic storm may bring for numerous reasons.  First of all, the Baby Boomer Generation is retiring at a rate of 10,000 people per day (or 1 person every 8 seconds); and many of them have their eyes set on the warm Sun, sandy beaches and green palm trees of the South Florida subtropical climate.  In addition, even if the Dollar takes a hammering, in an array of ways, that will boost foreign direct investment as wealthy foreign nationals seek to escape from harsh taxation & regulations in their home countries (and our policies are no picnic!).  With that in mind, it should be noted that we are looking at a Buyer’s market here on the beaches and this is an opportunity that prospective buyers should, at the very least, look at closely with a knowledgable & reputable real estate broker.

Lastly, I would like to apologize to my readers for having not published another market update report sooner.  I am extremely busy servicing my own customers & clients (who get the benefit of my analysis and insights on request) in both a residential & commercial real estate capacity; and therefore my time has been constrained with respect to Publishing & Marketing.  As my firm grows, I expect to be able to publish on a more regular basis.

Thank you for your time and attention!

Cheers,

Miami Realtor, Miami Real Estate Professional
Christopher Lazaro, MBA – Licensed Real Estate Broker & International Realtor of Miami, 305-517-3086 x333

Social Media Usage & Broker’s Liability (Updated May 2015)

I updated an article I posted back in 2013 with current information and tips regarding Social Media Usage.  Click the link below to go to the updated article.

Social Media Usage & Broker’s Liability (Updated May 2015).

 

Cheers,

Miami Realtor, Miami Real Estate Professional
Christopher Lazaro, MBA – International Realtor of Miami

About Real Estate of Miami (Updated May 2015)

I updated the About Real Estate of Miami Page.  Please click the link below to see the new page.  This blog is a constantly changing work in progress with the intentions of:

  1. Educating the Real Estate Buyer, Seller or Investor
  2. Maintaining Transparency with the General Public for all matters involving my Brokerage Affiliation(s) and License Status
  3. Providing / Disseminating Data via Reports and other Media originating from authoritative sources to the General Public.
  4. Providing Direction towards Real Estate Resources and other Information Resources relevant to the Real Estate Industry, specifically Southeast Florida, but not limited to this region.

About Real Estate of Miami.

 

Cheers,

Miami Realtor, Miami Real Estate Professional
Christopher Lazaro, MBA – International Realtor of Miami

Social Media Usage & Broker’s Liability (Updated May 2015)

In the September/October Issue of REALTOR® Magazine, G.M Filisko published and interesting article entitled Online Oversight – Adopting and enforcing clear digital use policies reduces your brokerage’s potential liability.

While I am from the IT Background and take much of this information for granted, I believe it is imperative for the Broker/Business Owner to evaluate their business model and begin assessing what, if any, threats exist to their organization from the, often undisciplined, online activities of their Sales Associates.  The fact of the matter is that the Sales Associate, regardless of whether they are an independent contractor or not, is continuously representing their Broker in all of their real estate dealings, whether they are online or offline.

The following courses of action, in my opinion, are absolutely necessary:

1)  Create a Social Media Usage Policy – (for fear that the link will eventually become invalid, I have saved it as a PDF and uploaded it to this blog for viewing).  This policy, once drafted, should be presented to a new Sales Associate along with the Office Procedures Manual, a Cold Calling/Telephone Procedures Manual, and another other business policy manual you may already have in place.  Be sure they read & understand it, and they should (if they worked at any of the organizations I have in the past) sign a form indicating that they have read, accept and will abide by the rules of each of your policies.

2) NAR recommends BANNING: Pornography, SPAM, Chain Mail, Malicious Email, Business Unrelated to the Brokerage, All Illegal Usages.  This is common sense, however, when people use the same account for both business & personal reason, accidents can occur.  See bullet #3 for my recommendation.

3) I recommend an additional step to for any Broker to consider enforcing upon their agents:  Have your Sales Associates create a separate account on their own computer for their real estate sales endeavors!  While it is impossible to effectively control a computer that is, usually, a private asset of the Sales Associate, it is NOT too much to request that they use one user account on their system for business, and one or more for their own personal affairs.  This alone should be sufficient in removing the possibility of either a deliberate, or accidental, blending of the Sales Associates private/public online practices and the Business’s practices.

4)  Whenever possible, keep system resources, such as email, telephone numbers etc, IN HOUSE!  I try to never allow my associates to use private email addresses for business activities.  Furthermore, EVERY ONE of my Sales Associates gets a 1-800 number and International Number Extension from my business.  As part of any policy the Sales Associate must sign should be a Privacy Waiver indicating that All Company Owned Assets, including email and application services provided by the Brokerage, and all information stored in those accounts or databases, are the property of the Brokerage and the Brokerage may, at any time, review any and all information stored in any account or database to which it is the provider.  My brokerage uses Google Apps and Phone.com for our basic email, application & phone services.

I provide consulting for Real Estate Brokers who are looking to either begin, expand or evaluate their Social Media endeavors and online presence.  Prior to becoming a real estate broker, I was a systems engineer and systems architect for IBM at JP Morgan Chase Bank and American Express.  I am fully aware of the policies, processes & procedures that these organizations use to protect their image online, as well as their intellectual property.  Please call me if you require a consult.

 

Miami Realtor, Miami Real Estate Professional
Christopher Lazaro, MBA – International Broker & Realtor® of Miami