Tools and apps to help you stay connected with clients.

June 25 in Blog by Noah Sturdevant No Comments

As technology continues to become more portable and easier to use, there are a lot of practical applications for a variety of new ways to communicate and keep your day organized. This is a huge benefit, especially for real estate professionals by allowing a much more effective way to stay in touch with their clients and keep track of and allow the scheduling of more appointments.

One – stop communication

One of the biggest communication tools out there right now is Slack, which many business and corporations have switched over to for team and internal communications; as it allows for users to communicate and keep all communication in one place, rather than spreading the information across several channels like email, texts, and phone calls. Agents may also want to communicate with clients through a tool like slack, as it ensures that all information communicated is in one, easy to access place.

Tracking appointments

While slack offers an amazing avenue to keep track off all communication, other tools are needed to keep track of meetings and appointments. For this a tool such as Evernote or OmniFocus, which allow users to set reminders and keep all appointments and meetings in one app/tool that is easy to use. Once in the habit of entering this information on a regular basis, these tools become indispensable for agents.

Many of these apps/tools, including Evernote, will allow agents to digitize documents they may encounter during the sale process. Others, like HelloSign even allows the ability to electronically sign documents and integrates with Evernote to provide synergy and an overall ease of use.


In every business automation can help achieve various business goals with more ease, if it is done correctly. According to Adwerx if automation is done correctly it can quickly pay off for agents very quickly. Automation could be in the form of workflows to ensure agents see emails and communication, or automated reminders and marketing emails, but either will allow agents to be more focused on their customers.

In general, it is always a great idea for agents to keep their eyes out for new apps and tools that may help streamline business and daily meetings/tasks. Fortunately, more apps, software, and tools continue to be developed all the time, so there is always a strong option to help automate and streamline appointments and communication with customers.

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Changes to Facebook Ad Targeting: How does it affect Real Estate Agents

April 29 in Blog by Noah Sturdevant No Comments

Changes to Facebook Ad Targeting

A larger number or real estate agents have utilized Facebook as part of their day to day marketing over the past several years. This has been due to the ability to reach a target audience very easily through their ad targeting.

However, a recent announcement about Facebook ad targeting being discriminatory has changed the way their ad targeting will work for housing, employment, and credit ads.

Why the change?

The first part of this which is important to understand is why this change is happening. For several years Facebook has been fighting accusations and lawsuits regarding discrimination being enabled through their ad targeting. The most recent of these was an Equal Employment Opportunity complaint by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) alleging that Facebook allowed job ads to discriminate against women.

Due to this, Facebook has made an agreement to build a designated portal for advertisers to create housing, employment, and credit ads; which will not allow the ability to target users by age, gender, zip code, or other categories covered by anti-discrimination law. Additionally, they will also build a tool for anyone to view any housing ad anywhere in the US, regardless of who is targeted for or where they live. Other ad changes will include:

  • Anyone who wants to run housing, employment or credit ads will no longer be allowed to target by age, gender or zip code.
  • Advertisers offering housing, employment and credit opportunities will have a much smaller set of targeting categories to use in their campaigns overall. …
  • We’re building a tool so you can search for and view all current housing ads in the US targeted to different places across the country, regardless of whether the ads are shown to you.

How this affects Real Estate Agents

This means that agents will need to deal with broader targeting for ads. Instead of being able to target specific zip codes, an area with a radius of at least 15 miles from the center of a city or any address will need to be selected.

Facebook HEC ads will also no longer be able to specify targets based on the following discriminatory characteristics:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Religion
  • Family status
  • Disability
  • Multicultural affinity
  • Sexual orientation

Lookalike Audience Tool

The Lookalike Audience tool will also not allow you to consider any of the characteristics or targeting tactics that have been excluded. All of these changes will be reflected in the new portal Facebook is creating, which will ensure the new limits are applied to Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger ads.

What can you do?

The first thing that can be done is to increase your ads. If you are concerned about losing exposure with these changes, there are 3 ways you can increase your ads to draw more attention.

  • Use Video: Most marketing experts back video as the most compelling content out there. In fact, videos shared on social media get 1200% more views than the combined efforts of text and images.
  • Get Shared: Strong content that provides value or interest will help you get more shares and visibility. To make the most use of your ads/posts make sure they trigger emotion, offer valuable advice, and contain an engaging headline to attract attention.
  • Try New Tools: Use Local Expert to target in-market buyers with ads on You can then re-target the same buyers on their Facebook news feed.
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Shopping for a New Home: Choosing the right kitchen

April 23 in Blog by Diane Warren No Comments

Choosing the best kitchen layout.

Modern Kitchen

While many don’t realize it, the importance of selecting a new home with the “right” kitchen could be the key to finding the perfect home. The kitchen is the heart of the home and is meant to inspire and encourage meal preparation. The right kitchen layout also influences what you eat, when you eat, and how often you prepare meals in your home rather than getting takeout.

The type or basic layout of the kitchen will also depend on the type of home that is being looked at. Some smaller homes may just have one-wall or galley style kitchen, while larger homes may feature an L-shape, U-shape, or peninsula kitchen. All of these have their own strengths, just depending on how often the kitchen is being utilized. (If you do have a smaller kitchen and need to maximize space, be sure to check out this wonderful article on Architectural Digest about optimizing space in a smaller kitchen.)

Determining which kitchen layout will work for you all depends on how often meals are prepared at home, how much storage room is needed, how much space is needed for appliances, and how much food is kept on hand on a regular basis.

In the process of choosing the “right” kitchen, one thing is certain; evaluating which kitchen style and layout will work best for your family is an incredibly important consideration. Selecting a layout that makes it easy to prepare more meals at home will protect the family budget, which can help build an emergency fund, or it could turn your dream vacation into a reality.

For a more in depth look at popular kitchen layouts, as well as some great advice on choosing the best kitchen layout for your needs be sure to check out this post from

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Summit Vendors

September 22 in Blog by Debbie Ameigh No Comments
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Title Security Company Picnic 4/15/17

April 17 in Blog by Debbie Ameigh No Comments

Title Security Company Picnic from Debbie Ameigh on Vimeo.

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June 16 in Blog by Diane Warren No Comments

The effects of a cyber scam can be far-reaching. If someone falls victim to a cyber scam, it can result in identity theft, loss of savings, and an increase in debt.

Phishing is one of the most common cyber scams. It occurs when someone receives an email containing malware. When the attachment is opened or the hyperlink clicked, malware is installed. Think twice before clicking on attachments and links.

Phishing can also be a gateway for a social engineering criminal to gain confidential information. In extreme cases, this has led to large sums of money being quickly transferred from the victim’s account into offshore accounts. Since real estate transactions involve large sums of money, the industry has been targeted by thieves, these scams are on the rise, and the Federal Trade Commission has taken notice.

The FTC says “If you’re buying a home and get an e-mail with money-wiring instructions, STOP. Email is not a secure way to send financial information, and your real estate professional or title company should know that.”

  • Never email your financial information. Email is not considered secure.
  • For any financial information you provide over the web, check that the site is secure. The URL would begin with “https”
  • Do not click on a link in an email to go to an organization’s site. Instead, look up the real URL and type into the address field yourself.
  • Be cautious about opening attachments and downloading files from emails.
  • Make sure your operating system, browser and security software are up to date.

If you have been the victim of a phishing scam, you can file a report with the FTC:

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The importance of Title Insurance when buying a home

August 16 in Blog by Diane Warren No Comments

Buying a house is an exciting time and the more you know about the process, the more relaxed you’ll be going through it. The American Land Title Association (ALTA) partnered with the Designing Spaces television series on Lifetime to explain to homebuyers the closing process and the importance of purchasing an owner’s title insurance policy.

The segment does a great job explaining how the work by title insurance professionals provides consumers peace of mind when purchasing a home.


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About Arizona Property Taxes

August 15 in Blog by Diane Warren No Comments

Arizona Property taxes are levied twice a year for 1/2 year periods and paid in arrears.

1st Half Jan-Jun taxes: due October 1st of that same year
2nd Half Jul-Dec taxes: due March 1st of the following year.

Bills for the current year’s taxes are mailed in September and include 2 coupons for each half of the year. When there is a mortgage loan on the property the tax bill is mailed to the lender as these taxes make up part of the monthly payment.
Property taxes are prorated at closing for taxes accrued but not yet due and payable, based on the yearly tax amount and the closing date.

For cash transactions Escrow will pay the full year’s tax, if closing date occurs after tax bill information is available.

Informational PDF: AZ Property Tax Collection


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About the new Loan Estimate form

August 14 in Blog by Diane Warren No Comments

The new Loan Estimate is one of two forms required by the CFPB and will be used for impacted loans originated on or after October 3rd 2015. This form is provided to consumers by the lender within three days in the loan application. It replaces early Truth In Lending statement and the Good Faith Estimate and provides a summary of key loan terms, an estimate of the loan costs, and closing costs. The intent of this form is to promote easy comparison shopping.

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CFPB Overview #1

August 13 in Blog by Diane Warren No Comments

Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act commonly known as RESPA governs the mortgage and residential real estate closing industry. It is intended to prevent kickbacks & unnecessary costs.  In addition it gives consumers buyers and sellers full disclosure of the costs for a transaction it was originally enforced by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The Truth in Lending Act known as TILA governs all types of credit and lending industries. It requires the disclosure of credit terms, costs of credit, calculations, and a projected payment schedule. It was originally enforced by the Federal Reserve Board.

Congress passed the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (commonly known as Dodd-Frank) which went into effect July 2010. The law created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or CFPB, and moved enforcement of RESPA to this new Bureau. The law also mandated that the two sets of disclosures be combined into one Integrated Disclosure.

TRID= TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures.

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REALTOR Webcast about the coming Integrated Disclosure changes

August 12 in Blog by Diane Warren No Comments

“REALTOR® Magazine presented a live webcast on July 16, 2015, to help real estate professionals understand the changes to the closing process that are scheduled to go into effect later this year. The program featured attorney Phil Schulman, a partner with K&L Gates and former official with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development who specializes in federal closing rules, and NAR Senior Counsel Finley Maxson.

As part of the changes, which stem from the merger of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), two new forms—the Loan Estimate and the Closing Disclosure—will replace the HUD-1 settlement form and the Good Faith Estimate. Samples of the new forms are available from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.”




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